Enhanced memory responses to seasonal H1N1 influenza vaccination of the skin with the use of vaccine-coated microneedles

J Infect Dis. 2010 Jan 15;201(2):190-8. doi: 10.1086/649228.


Background: Morbidity and mortality due to influenza could be reduced by improved vaccination.

Methods: To develop a novel skin delivery method that is simple and allows for easy self-administration, we prepared microneedle patches with stabilized influenza vaccine and investigated their protective immune responses.

Results: Mice vaccinated with a single microneedle dose of trehalose-stabilized influenza vaccine developed strong antibody responses that were long-lived. Compared with traditional intramuscular vaccination, stabilized microneedle vaccination was superior in inducing protective immunity, as was evidenced by efficient clearance of virus from the lung and enhanced humoral and antibody-secreting cell immune responses after 100% survival from lethal challenge. Vaccine stabilization was found to be important, because mice vaccinated with an unstabilized microneedle vaccine elicited a weaker immunoglobulin G 2a antibody response, compared with the stabilized microneedle vaccine, and were only partially protected against viral challenge. Improved trafficking of dendritic cells to regional lymph nodes as a result of microneedle delivery to the skin might play a role in contributing to improved protective immunity.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that vaccination of the skin using a microneedle patch can improve protective efficacy and induce long-term sustained immunogenicity and may also provide a simple method of administration to improve influenza vaccination coverage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Injections, Intradermal / instrumentation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*


  • Influenza Vaccines