Monday, December 3, 2012

DARPA considers using pollen for vaccine delivery

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that they’re currently researching a new vaccine delivery system that could be pollen based. DARPA hopes to create a simple, oral based vaccine, targeting consumers in areas where medical attention is scarce, especially troops in secluded areas. The vaccine could also benefit people who live in countries where medical attention is harder to access.

Why use pollen? The shell is durable and inert, and can protect vaccines from stomach acid and carry them through to the gut, where they can trigger an immune reaction. It's also cheap, plentiful, and once the antigens are removed, it does not trigger an immune response on its own. Essentially, pollen can be used as an edible vaccine and taken without a Physician.

If this type of vaccine can help deliver medication to people in remote areas, how could this change disease prevention around the world?

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