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Research Project: Delivery of FMDV Protein Antigens Using a Programmable Transdermal Microneedle System

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-064-034-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Mosaic Foot Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) inactivated vaccines have been shown to induce heterologous protective immune responses in cattle and swine to the heterologous challenge Foot Mouth Disease (FMD) viruses within a serotype. The mosaic FMDV vaccine design is applicable to a range of different topotypes/subtypes within a serotype, thus offering the possibility of manufacturing highly cross-protective serotype-specific vaccines, providing significant cost savings while conferring solid protection against FMDVs with distinct topotypes. Moreover, the capsid of mosaic FMDV displayed an increased stability to a range of temperature and pHs compared to their parental counterparts. The work outlined in this proposal will employ ARS's and the University of Connecticut's scientists' expertise to deliver FMDV capsid protein antigen, with the ultimate goal of providing an effective needle free delivery system and potentially in a cost-effective manner.

Task 1. Expression and in vitro testing of Foot Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) antigen proteins (capsids expressed in yeast or mammalian cells). Task 2. Examine viral proteins released from core-shell microneedles devise. Task 3. Testing and enhancing stabilized virus capsid proteins against temperature and pH in vitro. Task 4. Fabricate microneedle (MN) patches harboring crude or purified FMDV protein (or any other antigen of interest) stabilizing formulations and show the desired loading capacity. Task 5. In vitro examination of delayed burst release of FMDV capsid proteins from core-shell microneedles with tunability of release times. Task 6. Immunogenicity of a FMD vaccine prototype core-shell microneedle patch in vivo.