Because of their large surface area and immunological competence, mucosal tissues are attractive administration and target sites for vaccination. An important characteristic of mucosal vaccination is its ability to elicit local immune responses, which act against infection at the site of pathogen entry. However, mucosal surfaces are endowed with potent and sophisticated tolerance mechanisms to prevent the immune system from overreacting to the many environmental antigens. Hence, mucosal vaccination may suppress the immune system instead of induce a protective immune response. Therefore, mucosal adjuvants and/or special antigen delivery systems as well as appropriate dosage forms are required in order to develop potent mucosal vaccines. Whereas oral, nasal and pulmonary vaccine delivery strategies have been described extensively, the sublingual and buccal routes have received considerably less attention. In this review, the characteristics of and approaches for sublingual and buccal vaccine delivery are described and compared with other mucosal vaccine delivery sites. We discuss recent progress and highlight promising developments in the search for vaccine formulations, including adjuvants and suitable dosage forms, which are likely critical for designing a successful sublingual or buccal vaccine. Finally, we outline the challenges, hurdles to overcome and formulation issues relevant for sublingual or buccal vaccine delivery.
Keywords: Adjuvant; Administration route; Buccal; Dosage form; Sublingual; Vaccine delivery.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.