• A Prophylactic Gonorrhea Vaccine: Evaluation of In vivo Immune Response

      Bagwe, Priyal; Bajaj, Lotika; Gala, Rikhav; Zughaier, Susu; D'Souza, Martin (2021)
      Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the bacteria causing gonorrhea and has gradually developed antimicrobial resistance. Currently, there is no vaccine for gonorrhea. This study aims to investigate the immunogenicity of novel whole-cell inactivated gonococcal microparticulate vaccine formulation loaded in dissolving microneedles for skin delivery. The efficacy of vaccine formulation was assessed in vivo using female mice. The mice were immunized with a prime dose at week 0 followed by two boosters at weeks 2 and 4. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure immunoglobulin levels in collected mice sera. Formalin-fixed gonococci were intact as observed by SEM. The average length of microneedles as observed by SEM was 350 �m. ELISA demonstrated significantly higher serum immunoglobulin levels in groups receiving adjuvanted gonorrhea particulate vaccine when compared to untreated group (p<0.001). The particulate vaccine allows better uptake of antigen facilitated by the APCs causing improved antigen presentation and subsequent immune response by activation of T cells. Skin delivery of the inactivated whole-cell gonococcal microparticulate vaccine formulation loaded in dissolving microneedles is therefore an effective strategy.