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Mol Immunol. 1991 Mar;28(3):287-94.

Biodegradable microspheres as a vaccine delivery system.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


The utility of biodegradable and biocompatible microspheres as a vaccine delivery system for the induction of systemic and disseminated mucosal antibody responses was investigated. Intraperitoneal (ip) injection into mice of 1-10 microns microspheres, constructed of the copolymer poly(DL-lactide-coglycolide) (DL-PLG) which contained approximately 1% by weight a formalinized toxoid vaccine of staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), dramatically potentiated the circulating IgG anti-toxin antibody response as compared to the free toxoid. The initiation of vaccine release was delayed in larger microspheres, and a mixture of 1-10 and 20-50 microns microspheres stimulated both a primary and an anamnestic secondary anti-toxin response following a single injection. However, neither free nor microencapsulated SEB toxoid induced a detectable mucosal IgA anti-toxin response following systemic injection. In contrast, three peroral immunizations with toxoid-microspheres stimulated circulating IgM, IgG and IgA anti-toxin antibodies and a concurrent mucosal IgA response in saliva, gut washings and lung washings. Systemic immunization with microencapsulated toxoid primed for the induction of disseminated mucosal IgA responses by subsequent oral or intratracheal (it) boosting in microspheres, while soluble toxoid was ineffective at boosting. These results indicate that biodegradable and biocompatible microspheres represent an adjuvant system with potentially widespread application in the induction of both circulating and mucosal immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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