Volume 31, Issue 34, Pages 3389-3460 (25 July 2013)
Skin Vaccination Summit 2011
Gallaudet University, Washington, DC, USA
12–14 October 2011
Measles vaccination using a microneedle patch
Original Research Article
Chris Edens, Marcus L. Collins, Jessica Ayers, Paul A. Rota, Mark R. Prausnitz
Measles vaccination programs would benefit from delivery methods that decrease cost, simplify logistics, and increase safety. Conventional subcutaneous injection is limited by the need for skilled healthcare professionals to reconstitute and administer injections, and by the need for safe needle handling and disposal to reduce the risk of disease transmission through needle re-use and needlestick injury. Microneedles are micron-scale, solid needles coated with a dry formulation of vaccine that dissolves in the skin within minutes after patch application. By avoiding the use of hypodermic needles, vaccination using a microneedle patch could be carried out by minimally trained personnel with reduced risk of blood-borne disease transmission. The goal of this study was to evaluate measles vaccination using a microneedle patch to address some of the limitations of subcutaneous injection. Viability of vaccine virus dried onto a microneedle patch was stabilized by incorporation of the sugar, trehalose, and loss of viral titer was less than 1 log10(TCID50) after storage for at least 30 days at room temperature. Microneedle patches were then used to immunize cotton rats with the Edmonston-Zagreb measles vaccine strain. Vaccination using microneedles at doses equaling the standard human dose or one-fifth the human dose generated neutralizing antibody levels equivalent to those of a subcutaneous immunization at the same dose. These results show that measles vaccine can be stabilized on microneedles and that vaccine efficiently reconstitutes in vivo to generate a neutralizing antibody response equivalent to that generated by subcutaneous injection.