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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Nov;30(11):1027-40. doi: 10.1089/aid.2014.0233.

Induction of intestinal immunity by mucosal vaccines as a means of controlling HIV infection.

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1 Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine , New York, New York.


CD4(+) T cells in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract are preferentially targeted and depleted by HIV. As such, the induction of an effective anti-HIV immune response in the mucosa of the GI tract-through vaccination-could protect this vulnerable population of cells. Mucosal vaccination provides a promising means of inducing robust humoral and cellular responses in the GI tract. Here we review data from the literature about the effectiveness of various mucosal vaccination routes--oral (intraintestinal/tonsilar/sublingual), intranasal, and intrarectal--with regard to the induction of immune responses mediated by cytotoxic T cells and antibodies in the GI mucosa, as well as protective efficacy in challenge models. We present data from the literature indicating that mucosal routes have the potential to effectively elicit GI mucosal immunity and protect against challenge. Given their capacity for the induction of anti-HIV immune responses in the GI mucosa, we propose that mucosal routes, including the nonconventional sublingual, tonsilar, and intrarectal routes, be considered for the delivery of the next generation HIV vaccines. However, further studies are necessary to determine the ideal vectors and vaccination regimens for these routes of immunization and to validate their efficacy in controlling HIV infection.

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