Immunization can be traced back to classical China. Modern immunization reduces the risk of infection by attenuating or killing the pathogen or using non-infectious antigens to elicit the immune response. The challenge of immunization is to raise a robust protective response without infecting the individual or overstimulating the immune response, and this can be achieved by using nanoparticle delivery systems to specifically target the innate immune system with known antigens and where necessary include an adjuvant to enhance the efficacy. These systems can be targeted to mucosal sites that are located throughout the body with the nasal and pulmonary routes of administration allowing ease of access. Macrophages are the first line of defense of the innate immune system and are the host cell for primary intracellular infection by several respiratory pathogens notably mycobacteria and streptococci. The breadth of nanoparticle technology available to deliver vaccines has been explored and consideration of its value in nasal and pulmonary delivery is addressed specifically.
Nanoparticle technology for respiratory tract mucosal vaccine delivery