Influenza Vaccines – Microneedle Patches and Antigenic Sin

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In the final session of Day Two at the World Vaccine Congress & Expo USA 2013, Dr James Norman, Post-doctoral Researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, spoke about "A Microneedle Patch for Self-Administration". Here, he described the delivery of a vaccine via a microneedle patch, applied through either thumb pressure or a "snapplicator". He provided data to show that the microneedle patch could increase HAI titre and lower lung viral titre in a small study in mice. He discussed the advantages of a microneedle patch, which included improved coverage and reduced cost for both seasonal and pandemic influenza. He showed that there was a learning curve with thumb application of the microneedles, but there was drastically increased useability with an applicator dubbed a "snapplicator". He also reported increased acceptability of the snapplicator versus simple thumb application.

To conclude the day's talks on influenza vaccines (see more from the Day Two morning influenza sessions here), Dr Joshy Jacob, Associate Professor, Emory University, gave a presentation entitled "The wages of antigenic sin". Here he described ‘antigenic sin' as antibodies produced against an old strain in response to a novel strain, at the expense of producing antibodies against the novel strain. He noted that antigenic sin was not limited to influenza but was also seen in dengue and malaria. He spoke about overcoming antigenic sin in animals, using adjuvants such as pertussis toxin or CpG.

Were you at World Vaccine Congress USA 2013? Do you have any comments about Day Two's Influenza Vaccine presentations? You can leave a comment in the box below, or on LinkedIn group discussion.

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