Transcutaneous immunization: a human vaccine delivery strategy using a patch

Nat Med. 2000 Dec;6(12):1403-6. doi: 10.1038/82225.


Transcutaneous immunization, a topical vaccine application, combines the advantages of needle-free delivery while targeting the immunologically rich milieu of the skin. In animal studies, this simple technique induces robust systemic and mucosal antibodies against vaccine antigens. Here, we demonstrate safe application of a patch containing heat-labile enterotoxin (LT, derived from Escherichia coli) to humans, resulting in robust LT-antibody responses. These findings indicate that TCI is feasible for human immunization, and suggest that TCI may enhance efficacy as well as improve vaccine delivery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Administration, Topical
  • Bacterial Toxins / administration & dosage*
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Enterotoxins / administration & dosage*
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Enterotoxins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • heat-labile enterotoxin, E coli