Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis continues to be a leading cause of mortality among bacterial diseases, and the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the only licensed vaccine for human use against this disease. TB prevention and control would benefit from an improved method of BCG vaccination that simplifies logistics and eliminates dangers posed by hypodermic needles without compromising immunogenicity. Here, we report the design and engineering of a BCG-coated microneedle vaccine patch for a simple and improved intradermal delivery of the vaccine. The microneedle vaccine patch induced a robust cell-mediated immune response in both the lungs and the spleen of guinea pigs. The response was comparable to the traditional hypodermic needle based intradermal BCG vaccination and was characterized by a strong antigen specific lymphocyte proliferation and IFN-gamma levels with high frequencies of CD4(+)FN-gamma(+), CD4(+)TNF-alpha(+) and CD4(+)IFN-gamma(+)TNF-alpha(+) T cells. The BCC-coated microneedle vaccine patch was highly immunogenic in guinea pigs and supports further exploration of this new technology as a simpler, safer, and compliant vaccination that could facilitate increased coverage, especially in developing countries that lack adequate healthcare infrastructure. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.