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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2012 Jun;81(2):239-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2012.03.010. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Increased immunogenicity of avian influenza DNA vaccine delivered to the skin using a microneedle patch.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.


Effective public health responses to an influenza pandemic require an effective vaccine that can be manufactured and administered to large populations in the shortest possible time. In this study, we evaluated a method for vaccination against avian influenza virus that uses a DNA vaccine for rapid manufacturing and delivered by a microneedle skin patch for simplified administration and increased immunogenicity. We prepared patches containing 700-μm long microneedles coated with an avian H5 influenza hemagglutinin DNA vaccine from A/Viet Nam/1203/04 influenza virus. The coating DNA dose increased with DNA concentration in the coating solution and the number of dip-coating cycles. Coated DNA was released into the skin tissue by dissolution within minutes. Vaccination of mice using microneedles induced higher levels of antibody responses and hemagglutination inhibition titers, and improved protection against lethal infection with avian influenza as compared to conventional intramuscular delivery of the same dose of the DNA vaccine. Additional analysis showed that the microneedle coating solution containing carboxymethylcellulose and a surfactant may have negatively affected the immunogenicity of the DNA vaccine. Overall, this study shows that DNA vaccine delivery by microneedles can be a promising approach for improved vaccination to mitigate an influenza pandemic.

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