Oral vaccination requires an antigen delivery vehicle to protect the antigen and to enhance translocation of the antigen to the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. A variety of antigen delivery vehicles including liposomes have been studied for mucosal immunization. The advantages of liposome formulations are their particulate form and the ability to accommodate immunomodulators and targeting molecules in the same package. Many conventional liposomes are variably unstable in acids, pancreatic juice and bile. Nevertheless, carefully designed liposomes have demonstrated an impressive efficacy in inducing mucosal IgA responses, compared to free antigens and other delivery vehicles. However, liposomes as an oral vaccine vehicle are not yet optimized. To design liposomes that are stable in the harsh intestinal environment and are efficiently taken up by the M cells remains a challenge. This review summarizes recent research efforts using liposomes as an antigen carrier for oral vaccines with practical attention to liposome designs and interaction with the M cells.

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