Skip to main content

Second international congress on immunopharmacology: delivery systems and current strategies for drug design

The 2nd International Congress on Immunopharmacology was held in June of 2011 at the Conference Center of Plaza America in Varadero, Cuba. The main goal of this meeting was to provide state-of-the-art communications for scientists, manufacturers, regulators and healthcare workers, to accelerate progress in the development of biological and biotechnological products and to promote exchange/scientific cooperation between researchers. 300 delegates from 22 countries attended the conference. The wide-ranging programme commenced with a plenary session and then split into a series of parallel workshops and symposia, covering “Advances in Immunopharmacology”, “Neuroimmunology”, “Therapeutic Biological Products”, “Prophylaxis and Treatment of Helicobacter pylori”, “Pharmacology of Cytochrome P450”, “Hereditary Ataxias” and “Delivery Systems and Current Strategies for Drug Design”. In this last Symposium, a substantial body of data was presented relating to the development of delivery systems with adjuvant and vaccine potential and also to strategies focused in therapeutic and prophylactic approaches against tuberculosis. This issue is dedicated to some of the results presented in this area.

Particulated structures have been used for more than two decades in the formulation of vaccine candidates, even before nanotechnology became a common field on its own. Virus-like particles and outer membrane vesicles (OMV) based vaccines were shown to have prophylactic potential against various infections [1]. Soluble antigens obtained through recombinant or synthetic processes have been known to be less immunogenic than antigens associated with nanoparticles [2]. Traditional inactivated and attenuated whole vaccines have immunostimulatory components, like LPS and DNA, which also account for toxic reactions associated to such vaccines. However, these molecules, which are also referred to as natural adjuvants [3], may trigger signals to activate cellular pathways that potentiate the immune response to antigens in the vaccine formulation [3]. Development of bacterial derived nano/microparticles takes advantage of such immunostimulatory effects of the antigenic repertoire expressed in the outer membrane of microorganisms [4]. OMV vaccines against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B were developed as both adjuvant [4] and vaccine [1]. Furthermore, OMV and cochleates obtained from bacteria have been effectively used via the mucosal route to induce systemic as well as mucosal immune responses [5]. This and other approaches have promoted research and development of novel particulated structures from Vibrio cholerae, Bordetella pertussis, N. meningitidis and Mycobacteria [6, 7]. Presentations related with these areas are included in this supplement. Research related with the identification of antigens of M. tuberculosis with vaccine potential using in silico methods as well as work related with potential markers of tuberculosis infection are also included.

The potential importance of the specific antibody response against tuberculosis is a subject of growing interest [814] and a report on the protective role of antibody formulations against mycobacteria is also presented.

We are very grateful to BMC Immunology for agreeing to publish this group of presentations of the symposium.


  1. Sierra G, Campa HC, Varcacel NM, Izquierdo PL, Sotolongo PF, Casanueva GV, García L: Vaccine against group B Neisseria meningitidis. Protection trial and mass vaccination results in Cuba. NIPH Ann. 1991, 14 (2): 195-210.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Singh M, Chakrapani A, O’Hagan D: Nanoparticles and microparticles as vaccine-delivery systems. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2007, 6 (5): 797-808. 10.1586/14760584.6.5.797.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Leroux-Roels G: Unmet needs in modern vaccinology: adjuvants to improve the immune response. Vaccine. 2010, 28S: 25-36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Pérez O, Bracho G, Lastre M, González D, del Campo J, Zayas C, Acevedo R, Barberá R, Sierra G, Labrada A: Proteoliposome nanoparticle for vaccine adjuvants. Bionanotechnology: Global Prospective. Edited by: DE R. 2008, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 123-130.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Pérez O, Lastre M, Cabrera O, del Campo J, Bracho G, Cuello M, Acevedo R: New Vaccines Require Potent Adjuvants like AFPL1 and AFCo1. Scand J Immunol. 2007, 66: 271-277. 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2007.01981.x.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Rodríguez L, Tirado Y, Reyes F, Puig A, Kadir R, Borrero R, Fernández S, Reyes G, Álvarez N, García MA, Sarmiento ME, Norazmi MN, Pérez Quinoy JL, Acosta A: Proteoliposomes from Mycobacterium smegmatis induce immune cross-reactivity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in mice. Vaccine. 2011, 29 (37): 6236-41. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.06.077.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Nguyen Thi Le Thuy, Maura Reinier Borrero, Férnandez Sonsire, Reyes Giselle, Luis Perez José, Reyes Fátima, de los Angeles García María, Fariñas Midrey, Infante Juan Francisco, Tirado Yanely, Puig Alina, Sierra Gustavo, Álvarez Nadine, Ramírez Juan Carlos, Sarmiento María Elena, Norazmi Mohd-Nor, Acosta Armando: Evaluation of the potential of Mycobacterium smegmatis as vaccine Candidate against tuberculosis by in silico and in vivo studies. VacciMonitor. 2010, 19 (1): 20-26.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Olivares N, León A, López Y, Puig A, Cádiz A, Falero G, Martínez M, Sarmiento ME, Fariñas M, Infante JF, Sierra G, Solís RL, Acosta A: The effect of the administration of human gamma globulins in a model of BCG infection in mice. Tuberculosis. 2006, 86 (3-4): 268-273. 10.1016/

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Olivares N, Puig A, Aguilar D, Moya A, Cádiz A, Otero O, Izquierdo L, Falero G, Solis RL, Orozco H, Sarmiento ME, Norazmi MN, Hernández-Pando R, Acosta A: Prophylactic effect of administration of human gamma globulins in a mouse model of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis. 2009, 89 (3): 218-20. 10.1016/

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. López Y, Yero D, Falero-Diaz G, Olivares N, Sarmiento ME, Sifontes S, Solis RL, Barrios JA, Aguilar D, Hernández-Pando R, Acosta A: Induction of a protective response with an IgA monoclonal antibody against Mycobacterium tuberculosis 16kDa protein in a model of progressive pulmonary infection. Int J Med Microbiol. 2009, 299 (6): 447-452. 10.1016/j.ijmm.2008.10.007.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. López Y, Falero-Díaz G, Yero D, Solís R, Sarmiento ME, Acosta A: Antibodies in the protection against mycobacterial infections: what have we learned?. Procedia in Vaccinology. 2010, 2 (2): 172-177. 10.1016/j.provac.2010.07.011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Acosta A, Norazmi MN, Sarmiento ME: Antibody mediated immunity A missed opportunity in the fight against tuberculosis?. Malaysian J Med Sci. 2010, 17 (2): 66-67.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Acosta A, López Y, Norazmi MN, Hernández Pando R, Alvarez N, Sarmiento ME: Towards a new challenge in TB control: Development of antibody-based protection. "Mycobacterium tuberculosis/Book 3". Edited by: Pere Cardona. 2012, 979-953-307-698-9

    Google Scholar 

  14. Glatmann-Freeedman A: The role of antibodies against tuberculosis. The Art &Science of tuberculosis vaccine development. Edited by: Norazmi MN, Acosta A, Sarmiento ME. 2010, Malaysia. Oxford University Press, 186-208. 1

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This article has been published as part of BMC Immunology Volume 14 Supplement 1, 2013: Proceedings from Delivery Systems and Current strategies to drug design. The full contents of the supplement are available online at

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Reinaldo Acevedo.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Acevedo, R., Landys, M., Acosta, A. et al. Second international congress on immunopharmacology: delivery systems and current strategies for drug design. BMC Immunol 14, S1 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Tuberculosis
  • Pertussis
  • Particulated Structure
  • Neisseria Meningitidis
  • Bordetella Pertussis