Microencapsulated subunit vaccine approach to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and other mucosal pathogens

Wyatt Byrd, Arthur De Lorimier, Zi Rong Zheng, Frederick J. Cassels

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Infections of the intestinal, urogenital, and respiratory tracts are serious health problems worldwide from both a morbidity and mortality perspective. Mucosal pathogens attach to surfaces of mucosa as a prerequisite for colonization and subsequent pathogenesis. By expressing various surface adhesins (colonization factors, CF) they are able to bind to specific mucosal receptors. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) can express numerous CF that allow them to attach to a variety of hosts. Mucosal immunity directed against pathogenic microorganisms is critical in host protection with secretory IgA being particularly important in preventing microoganisms from colonizing host cells. M cells likewise have an important immunological function in the small intestines by binding and transporting antigens to lymphocytes and macrophages thus enhancing the immune response. The use of subunit vaccines, such as antigen encapsulated microspheres, can act to effectively deliver specific antigens so as to optimize their immunological response. With the threat of bioterrorism becoming a reality in recent years, the miroencapsulation of antigens from potential bioterrorist agents may be an effective method of delivery so as to induce a level of protection in at risk individuals. The encapsulation of ETEC colonization factors in microspheres and their subsequent administration in small animals and humans has been conducted for many years. Evidence suggests that this type of delivery system for ETEC antigens may enhance their immunogenicity and provide protection against this microorganism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1362-1380
Number of pages19
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 17 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable microspheres
  • ETEC
  • Mucosal pathogens
  • Subunit vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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