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Author Notes:

Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Emory Vaccine Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 303222, USA. E-mail: rcompan@emory.edu

The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

We thank Emilio González-González and, Ryan Spitler for carrying out animal studies involving IVIS imaging at Stanford University and Christopher Contag, Roger Kaspar, and Robyn Hickerson and Joshy Jacob for providing phMGFP/CBL and A/PR8 HA plasmid DNA vaccine respectively. We also thank Fu-shi Quan for discussion of immunization studies, Dae-goon Yoo for technical help, and Mark Allen for use of his laser microfabrication facilities. M.R.P. is an inventor of patents that have been licensed to companies developing microneedle-based products, is a paid advisor to companies developing microneedle-based products, and is a founder/shareholder of companies developing microneedle-based products. For this reason, this study could affect the personal financial status of M.R.P. This potential conflict of interest has been disclosed and is overseen by Georgia Tech and Emory University. The other authors declared no conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

This work was supported by NIH/NIBIB grant EB006369 (M.R.P.), NIH/NIAID grant AI0680003 (R.W.C.), and NIH/NIAID grants AI093772 (S.-M.K.) and AI087782 (S.-M.K.).

DNA Vaccination in the Skin Using Microneedles Improves Protection Against Influenza


Journal Title:

Molecular Therapy


Volume 20, Number 7


, Pages 1472-1480

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


In this study, we tested the hypothesis that DNA vaccination in the skin using microneedles improves protective immunity compared to conventional intramuscular (IM) injection of a plasmid DNA vaccine encoding the influenza hemagglutinin (HA). In vivo fluorescence imaging demonstrated the expression of a reporter gene delivered to the skin using a solid microneedle patch coated with plasmid DNA. Vaccination at a low dose (3 µg HA DNA) using microneedles generated significantly stronger humoral immune responses and better protective responses post-challenge compared to IM vaccination at either low or high (10 µg HA DNA) dose. Vaccination using microneedles at a high (10 µg) dose further generated improved post-challenge protection, as measured by survival, recall antibody-secreting cell responses in spleen and bone marrow, and interferon (IFN)-γ cytokine T-cell responses. This study demonstrates that DNA vaccination in the skin using microneedles induces higher humoral and cellular immune responses as well as improves protective immunity compared to conventional IM injection of HA DNA vaccine.

Copyright information:

© 2012 The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy

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