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Mucosal immunization and adjuvants.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.


The goal of the influenza vaccine is to prevent influenza virus infection and control the yearly seasonal epidemic and pandemic. However, the presently available parenteral influenza vaccine induces only systemic humoral immunity, which does not prevent influenza virus infection on the mucosal surface. Secretary IGA antibodies play an important role in preventing natural infection. Moreover, the IgA antibody response mediates cross-protection against variant viruses in animal models. Thus, a mucosal influenza vaccine that induces mucosal immunity would be a powerful tool to protect individuals from the influenza virus. Although the function of the mucosal immune system, especially in the respiratory tract, is not completely understood, there are several studies underway to develop mucosal influenza vaccines. Here, we will review current knowledge concerning the induction of IgA, the role of B-cell production of influenza virus specific IgA antibodies in anti-influenza immunity, and the role of humoral memory responses induced upon vaccination.

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