A research team has developed and successfully tested a dry powder, live-attenuated measles vaccine that can be inhaled.
The team was led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Colorado, and the novel vaccine was studied in rhesus macaques.
The current measles vaccine requires two injections to provide full immunity-one given at 9 to 12 months of age and another later in childhood.
Special training for needle and syringe injections is needed to administer the vaccine, which requires refrigeration and is shipped as a powder that must be reconstituted and kept on ice in the field clinic. Such injections increase the risk of exposure to blood borne diseases.
But the new dry powder measles vaccine provided the macaques, complete protection from measles with a single vaccine dose, according to the study.
The vaccine was delivered by aerosol using either one of two dry powder inhalers, the PuffHaler and the BD Solovent. No adverse effects were observed.
"This vaccine can be shipped as powder and does not require reconstitution or special training to administer, which could greatly increase the ease and safety of measles vaccination worldwide," said Diane E. Griffin, senior author of the study.
Human trials for the dry powder measles vaccine are in development in India.
"The tests of inhalable dry powder vaccine at Johns Hopkins provide confidence that it can safely be tested in human volunteers after regulatory permission is given by Indian authorities," said Robert Sievers, professor at the CU Boulder.
The study has been published in the January 31 edition of the journal PNAS.