Immunostimulators are substances (drugs and nutrients) that stimulate the immune system by inducing activation or increasing activity of any of its components. One notable example include granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, commercially available under Leukine name. Some immunostimulating properties were also attributed to Echinacea plant.
There are two main categories of immunostimulators:
- Specific immunostimulators are those which provide antigenic specificity in immune response, such as vaccines or any antigen.
- Non-specific immunostimulators are those which act irrespective of antigenic specificity to augment immune response of other antigen or stimulate components of the immune system without antigenic specificity, such as adjuvants and non-specific immunostimulators.
- Macrokine, stimulator of macrophages
- Immunologic adjuvant