March 2, 2024

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Inhalable Dry Powder Vaccine as an Alternative to Arm Injections

Inhalable Dry Powder Vaccine as an Alternative to Arm Injections



Inhalable Dry Powder Vaccine as an Alternative to Arm Injections

Researchers have developed a single-dose powder vaccine that, when directly inhaled into the lungs, triggers an effective immune response. This vaccine provides a broad-spectrum protection against various respiratory viruses with a single dose.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven advancements in vaccine technology, including the well-known mRNA vaccines. Most of these vaccines are administered through intramuscular injections, inducing humoral immunity—a type of immunity that relies on antibodies to neutralize the virus. While intramuscular SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have proven significantly effective in reducing infection rates and mortality, their impact on the virus transmission rate is relatively modest.

Inhalable Dry Powder Vaccine as an Alternative to Arm Injections

screenshot from Sicence

Generating an immune response in the mucosal tissue of the airways is crucial for early infection control and can result in a robust, long-lasting immune defense through rapid recall responses. To address concerns associated with intramuscular vaccines, researchers at the Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have developed a single-dose inhalable dry powder vaccine.

This vaccine platform combines biodegradable microspheres with protein nanparticles, displaying multiple antigens on the microsphere surface. These antigens are substances that trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. Having more than one antigen can broaden the vaccine’s protection against the virus, eliciting a more extensive immune response. For instance, it can include antigens from different SARS-CoV-2 strains or antigens from both SARS-CoV-2 and another respiratory virus vaccine.

Once released, the antigen nanoparticles can be efficiently absorbed by the lungs. Moreover, due to the sustained release of nanoparticles, a single inhalation can induce long-lasting humoral, cellular, and mucosal immunity. Researchers tested their powder vaccine on mice, hamsters, and non-human primates, observing a strong antibody response and local T-cell (immune cell) reactions, indicating effective virus protection.

One of the corresponding authors of the study, Wei Wei, stated, “The components of this nano-microsystem use natural proteins and approved polymer materials, and systematic studies on the vaccine’s efficacy and safety in non-human primates suggest significant clinical translational potential.”

From a production perspective, dry powder vaccines do not require refrigeration, significantly reducing storage and transportation costs, making them suitable for use in areas with limited or no refrigeration facilities.

This research has been published in the journal “Nature.”

Inhalable Dry Powder Vaccine as an Alternative to Arm Injections

(source:internet, reference only)


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