Going to a doctor for an injection has always being nightmare for a kid. But with a recent research done in Australia these needle jabs could be a thing of the past. The team of researchers from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Monash University headed by a Sri Lankan researcher Dr. Anushi Rajapaksha has developped a new revolutionary method to deliver vaccines through a nebulizer device.
In this research the team had first turned a liquid vaccine in to an aerosol using sound waves and this aerosol is then inhaled to the body using a small nebulizer device.
Dr Anushi Rajapaksa is developing a needle-free vaccine. Picture: Heruld Sun
Lead researcher, Dr Anushi Rajapaksa said this development holds a lot of promise for a replacement to vaccine injections which are associated with safety concerns in developing countries, requiring expensive and specialised handling, refrigeration, and staff training that many places in the world cannot afford.
“Current vaccines often induce inflammation, causing pain, requiring monitoring by health care workers and resulting in peoples’ unwillingness to seek vaccination. We sought to re-engineer vaccine administration with our respiratory nebuliser for plasmid DNA vaccine delivery. A DNA-based vaccine can be produced in as little as two weeks, a critically important improvement in the face of a pandemic.”
“The nebulizer technology can be made portable and only requires batteries for operation. There is huge potential of this work to be used for mass vaccination programs especially in the developing countries with limited resources.”
The nebulizer works as droplets containing the vaccine are inhaled and deposited on the surfaces of the lung. Once the DNA of the vaccine is introduced into a person’s cells those cells produce “antigen” proteins. The immune system is trained to attack the disease by producing antibodies against these antigen proteins. There is no inflammation when using DNA vaccines, and no use for needles for injection, making it much easier for a person to tolerate.
A small nebulizer device can be used to deliver the vaccines
Inhaled immunisation using the nebuliser is especially suitable for lung-related afflictions such as influenza, and, potentially for treatment of systemic diseases such as Malaria with entirely new DNA vaccines.
This research was done in collaboration with Professor James Friend, Professor Leslie Yeo, Professor Els Meeusen, Dr. Michelle McIntosh, Professor Ross Coppel Dr. Aisha Qi, Dr. Jenny Ho, Dr. Rob Bischof, Dr. Tri-Hung Nguyen, Dr. Michelle Tate and Associate Professor David Piedrafita.