Immunisation against pathogens remains one of the most effective ways of preventing or reducing losses due to infectious diseases in animal husbandry. When inactivated vaccines are used, adjuvants are most often required to obtain satisfactory immune responses. One such type of adjuvant is saponin derived from the bark of Quillaja saponaria Molina, a tree of the rose family. A few different commercial sources exist, but due to the structural complexity and heterogeneity of these saponin preparations, it has been difficult to establish exactly which components are responsible for the adjuvant activity. By carefully selecting the bark source, live have succeeded in preparing a much less heterogeneous preparation of quillaja saponin. In this report we describe the preparation, in terms of structural complexity, hemolytic activity, adjuvant activity, and its ability to form ISCOM matrix. This new preparation could have implications for use per se, or as starting material for more effective preparation of pure substances.
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