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Ann Parasitol. 2012;58(1):1-8.

Mucosal vaccination--an old but still vital strategy.

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Department of Immunoparasitology, Chair of Immunology and Infectious Biology, University of Lodz, 12/16 Banacha Street, 90-237 Lodz, Poland.


The basic premise of vaccinology is to achieve strong protective immunity against defined infectious agents by a vaccine mimicking the effects of natural primary exposure to a pathogen. Because an exposure of humans and animals to microbes occurs mostly through mucosal surfaces, targeting the mucosa seems a rational and efficient vaccination strategy. Many experimental and clinical data confirmed that mucosal immunization offers many advantages over widely used in human and veterinary medicine subcutaneous or intramuscular immunization. In the present article selected aspects regarding mucosal vaccination are discussed. The structure and function of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), comprised of four main mucosal compartments forming a structural and functional unity as well as pivotal cellular MALT components (dendritic and M cells) were briefly characterized. Particular attention was focused on the mode of simple but efficacious delivery of vaccine antigens to mucosal surfaces. A few trials to generate potential mucosal vaccines against toxoplasmosis introduced by nasal or oral routes to experimental animals are also presented.

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