Immunomodulation encompasses all treatments intended to change the immune response. Immunostimulants are substances that stimulate the immune system by inducing or increasing the activity of one or more of its components.
The rationale for targeting the innate immune system for immunostimulation relates to its ability to respond to a wide range of pathogens, in contrast to a pathogen-specific therapy such as a vaccine or antibiotic. This is especially useful in diseases associated with a range of pathogens. Furthermore, the innate immune response triggers the adaptive immune response, resulting in enduring protection.
Immune stimulation, therefore, has a number of potential prophylactic and therapeutic uses.