Recent research found that microneedle vaccine patches are more effective at delivering protection against influenza virus in mice than subcutaneous or intramuscular inoculation. A new, detailed analysis of the early immune responses by the Emory and Georgia Tech research team helps explain why the skin is such fertile ground for vaccination with these tiny, virtually painless microneedles.
The research was published in the January/February issue of the online journal mBio.
The skin, in contrast to the muscles, contains a rich network of antigen-presenting cells, which are immune signaling cells that are essential to initiating an immune response. The researchers found that microneedle skin immunization with inactivated influenza virus resulted in a local increase of cytokines important for recruitment of neutrophils, monocytes and dendritic cells at the site of immunization. All these cells play a role in activating a strong innate immune response against the virus.
Microneedle vaccination also may lead to prolonged depositing of antigen – the viral molecules that are the targets of antibody responses. Such a prolonged antigen release could allow more efficient uptake by antigen-presenting cells. In addition, activated and matured dendritic cells carrying influenza antigen were found to migrate from the skin– an important feature of activating the adaptive immune response.
The research was led by first author Maria del Pilar Martin, PhD and Richard W. Compans, PhD, Emory professor of microbiology and immunology. Other authors included William C. Weldon, Dimitrios G. Koutsonanos, Hamed Akbari, Ioanna Skountzou, and Joshy Jacob from Emory University and Vladimir G. Zarnitsyn and Mark R. Prausnitz from Georgia Tech.
"Our research reveals new details of the complex but efficient immune response to influenza virus provided by microneedle skin patches," says Compans. "Despite the success of vaccination against influenza, the virus has many subtypes, mutates rapidly and continues to elude complete and long-term protection, and therefore requires annual vaccination with an updated vaccine each year.
"New vaccine formulations and delivery methods such as vaccine-coated microneedle patches could provide an improved protective response, which would be of particular benefit to those at high risk of related complications. Vaccine delivery to the skin by microneedles is painless, and offers other advantages such as eliminating potential risks due to use of hypodermic needles."
Emory University: http://www.emory.edu
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
The type of Ebola erupting in West Africa is closely related to one found 2,500 miles away — the distance between Boston and San Francisco. How did the virus spread so far without anyone noticing?
The tendency of Clostridium novyi to kill mammal cells has been used to shrink tumours in dogs and people, so the bacteria could help fight some cancers
The Burns Collection consists of human cadavers from the early 1800s that were anatomically dissected and preserved to teach anatomy and surgery to medical students. For the first time this portion of the collection is on display to the public as a part of traveling exhibit "Mummies of the World: The Exhibition."
Author Adam Rogers says there are lots of myths about what causes hangovers. His new book, Proof: The Science of Booze, explores these and other scientific mysteries of alcohol's effect on the body.
An experimental vaccine being developed by U.S. government scientists to prevent the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya has shown promise in its first human trials but remains years away from approval for widespread use.
Dr. Gil Yosipovitch is a leading scientist in the field of itch. He says he hopes to gain more respect for the debilitating power of chronic itch — and to get more doctors on the search for a cure.
Engineers have come up with an experimental technology that could make HIV prevention as easy as using a tampon. It's based on an ultrafine fabric that's thinner than a human hair.
As the Ebola outbreak rages in West Africa, it is also unfolding — in a virtual sense — inside the computers of scientists trying to predict how far the outbreak will spread and when it will end.
Scientists hope that linking 12,000 cancers each year to people being overweight will spark more action against obesity
Millions of people suffer from facial deformities because an injury, surgery, or birth defect left a gap in their bone structure. These bone gaps are too wide for the body’s normal healing process to fix, and surgical solutions like grafts and putties usually fall short of restoring a person’s looks.