Current state and challenges in developing oral vaccines
While vaccination remains the most cost effective strategy for disease prevention, communicable diseases persist as the second leading cause of death worldwide. There is a need to design safe, novel vaccine delivery methods to protect against unaddressed and emerging diseases. Development of vaccines administered orally is preferable to traditional injection-based formulations for numerous reasons including improved safety and compliance, and easier manufacturing and administration. Additionally, the oral route enables stimulation of humoral and cellular immune responses at both systemic and mucosal sites to establish broader and long-lasting protection. However, oral delivery is challenging, requiring formulations to overcome the harsh gastrointestinal (GI) environment and avoid tolerance induction to achieve effective protection. Here we address the rationale for oral vaccines, including key biological and physicochemical considerations for next-generation oral vaccine design.