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Quil-A® Guidelines

Our Quil-A® series addresses two main applications:

1) Veterinary applications for use in vaccines

2) Experimental immunology

Accordingly, they may be used in both basic research and R&D, as well as small and large scale commercial vaccine production. (In addition Quillaja saponin can also be used in the preparation of permeabilizing buffers for intracellular staining prior to flow cytometric measurements).

Sterilization of Quil-A®:

Quil-A® cannot be sterilized by autoclavation, as the molecular structure is thermo-labile.

It is recommended that immediately after re-dissolving the lyophilized powder, it be passed it through a 0.22 micron sterility filter into the final, sterile container under laminar air flow (Class A) in class B surroundings.

After redissolvingand sterile filtration the Quil-A® solution should be stored frozen until use.

Application of Quil-A® Dosing:

In veterinary vaccines there is no legally defined maximum limit for the allowed content of ADJUVANTS.

Here the dose is normally set from a balance between efficacy and local reactogenicity.

But some inspiration can be taken from the following :

Mice: No more than 15 μg/dose
Guinea pigs: No more than 25μg/dose
Pigs: No more than 300 μg/dose
Cattle: No more than 750 μg/dose

Application of Quil-A® Injection route:

Injections should be made only subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

Injection of Quil-A® should never be intraperitoneously, as the surface activity of the saponin molecules can give lead to chemical peritonitis and induce fibrous adherences between the organs in the peritoneum.


- Acronym of Immune Stimulating COMplexes, are special constructs where Quil-A® interacts structurally with antigen, cholesterol and phosphate – idylcholine.

These constructs, seen to the right in TEM, are cage-like structures, approx. 40-60 nm in diameter. ISCOMs are highly immunogenic, as the Quil-A® is administered together with a multimeric form of the antigen in a size range, that is readily taken up by antigen-presenting cells.