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J Control Release. 2016 Oct 10;239:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.08.012. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

Rabies vaccination in dogs using a dissolving microneedle patch.

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School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.
Merial Inc., Athens, GA 30601, USA.
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. Electronic address:


Because humans get rabies primarily through dog bites, stray dog population control and mass or mandatory vaccination of domestic dogs and other animals has virtually eliminated human rabies in industrialized countries. However, thousands of people in developing countries die of rabies each year due to the inability to control dog populations and implement mass vaccination because of financial, logistical and other challenges. The availability of an easier-to-administer and more cost-effective vaccine may help to address some of these issues. Here, we propose the use of dissolving microneedle patches for simple and potentially cost-effective rabies vaccination, and assess the safety and immunogenicity of microneedle patch vaccination using a rabies DNA vaccine in dogs. The vaccine was stable upon formulation and storage for at least 3weeks at 4°C in a microneedle patch. For vaccination, the patches were applied to the inner ear by hand without an applicator. Microneedle patches were well tolerated in the skin, with mild erythema, minimal wheal formation and complete resolution of skin reactions within 7days, and generated no systemic adverse events. Microneedle patches were at least as immunogenic as intramuscular injection at the same dose, as demonstrated by similar serum neutralizing antibody titers. A ten-fold lower vaccine dose administered by microneedle patch generated a weaker immune response compared to full-dose intramuscular vaccination. We conclude that dissolving microneedle patches may provide an innovative approach to mass vaccination of dogs.


DNA vaccine; Intradermal skin vaccination; Microneedle patch; Rabies vaccine; Transdermal drug delivery; Veterinary vaccination of dogs

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