The cessation of the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) and the inclusion of inactivated poliovirus (IPV) into all routine immunization programmes, strengthens the need for new IPV options. Several novel delivery technologies are being assessed that permit simple yet efficacious and potentially dose-sparing administration of IPV. Current disadvantages of conventional liquid IPV include the dependence on cold chain and the need for injection, resulting in high costs, production of hazardous sharps waste and requiring sufficiently trained personnel. In the current study, a dissolvable microneedle (DMN) patch for skin administration that incorporates trivalent inactivated Sabin poliovirus vaccine (sIPV) was developed. Microneedles were physically stable in the ambient environment for at least 30 min and efficiently penetrated skin. Polio-specific IgG antibodies that were able to neutralize the virus were induced in rats upon administration using trivalent sIPV-containing microneedle patches. These sIPV-patch-induced neutralizing antibody responses were comparable to higher vaccine doses delivered intramuscularly for type 1 and type 3 poliovirus serotypes. Moreover, applying the patches to the flank elicited a significantly higher antibody response compared to their administration to the ear. This study progresses the development of a skin patch-based technology that would simplify vaccine administration of Sabin IPV and thereby overcome logistic issues currently constraining poliovirus eradication campaigns.
Keywords: Immunization; Inactivated polio vaccine; Microneedle; Neutralizing antibody; Sabin polio vaccine; Skin.
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