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J Virol. 2007 Dec;81(23):13180-90. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Atraumatic oral spray immunization with replication-deficient viral vector vaccines.

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  • 1Department of Virology and Immunology, German Primate Centre, Göttingen, Germany.


The development of needle-free vaccines is one of the recently defined "grand challenges in global health" (H. Varmus, R. Klausner, R. Klausner, R. Zerhouni, T. Acharya, A. S. Daar, and P. A. Singer, Science 302:398-399, 2003). To explore whether a natural pathway to the inductive site of the mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue could be exploited for atraumatic immunization purposes, replication-deficient viral vector vaccines were sprayed directly onto the tonsils of rhesus macaques. Tonsillar immunization with viral vector vaccines encoding simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) antigens induced cellular and humoral immune responses. Viral RNA levels after a stringent SIV challenge were reduced, providing a level of protection similar to that observed after systemic immunization with the same vaccines. Thus, atraumatic oral spray immunization with replication-deficient vectors can overcome the epithelial barrier, deliver the vaccine antigen to the mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue, and avoid induction of tolerance, providing a novel approach to circumvent acceptability problems of syringe and needle vaccines for children and in developing countries.

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