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Comparative Study
, 190 (4), 774-82

Induction of Protective Immunity Against Lethal Anthrax Challenge With a Patch

Comparative Study

Induction of Protective Immunity Against Lethal Anthrax Challenge With a Patch

Richard T Kenney et al. J Infect Dis.


Background: Transcutaneous immunization (TCI) is a needle-free technique that delivers antigens and adjuvants to potent epidermal immune cells. To address critical unmet needs in biodefense against anthrax, we have designed a novel vaccine delivery system using a dry adhesive patch that simplifies administration and improves tolerability of a subunit anthrax vaccine.

Methods: Mice and rabbits were vaccinated with recombinant protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis and the heat-labile toxin of Escherichia coli. Serologic changes, levels of toxin-neutralizing antibodies (TNAs), and pulmonary and nodal responses were monitored in the mice. A lethal aerosolized B. anthracis challenge model was used in A/J mice, to demonstrate efficacy.

Results: The level of systemic immunity and protection induced by TCI was comparable to that induced by intramuscular vaccination, and peak immunity could be achieved with only 2 doses. The addition of adjuvant in the patch induced superior TNA levels, compared with injected vaccination.

Conclusions: Anthrax vaccine patches stimulated robust and functional immune responses that protected against lethal challenge. Demonstration of responses in the lung suggests that a mechanism exists for protection against challenge with aerosolized anthrax spores. A formulated, pressure-sensitive, dry adhesive patch, which is stable and can be manufactured in large scale, elicited comparable immunoglobulin G and TNA responses, suggesting that an anthrax vaccine patch is feasible and should advance into clinical evaluation.

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