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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2002 Sep 10;87(3-4):265-7.

Mucosal immunology: overview and potential in the veterinary species.

Author information

  • Animal Health Trust, Centre for Preventive Medicine, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK. duncan.hannant@aht.org.uk


A large part of the immune system is dedicated to protection from infection at mucosal surfaces. The concept of the common mucosal immune system has been investigated in several veterinary species where traffic of mucosally activated lymphocytes from induction to effector sites has been demonstrated. The dominant isotype found in secretions of the upper respiratory tract and gut of normal healthy and diseased animals is IgA. B lymphocytes have a relatively short half-life and there is continuous production of IgA at these sites, which is achieved by constant secretion from T helper and epithelial cells of cytokines that are critical for B cell maturation and IgA secretion. Specific stimulation of mucosal immune responses using intranasal presentation of live and inactivated antigens (with adjuvants active at mucosal surfaces) has shown great promise for inducing protective immunity to respiratory pathogens.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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