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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1995;371B:1409-16.

Induction of specific immunity at mucosal surfaces: prospects for vaccine development.

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1
Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.

Abstract

We have demonstrated the feasibility of studying antigen-specific immune responses in a variety of mucosal tissues in humans after vaccination and during infection. In this respect, we have documented the usefulness of both oral cholera and ETEC vaccines for assessing in functional terms specific subpopulations of B- and T-cell immunocytes during an immune response initiated and/or expressed in human mucosal tissues. Circulating specific IgA antibody-secreting cells in blood appear to reflect recent or ongoing antigen exposure of mucosal surfaces. This implies that the detection of such cells in blood, the most accessible lymphoid compartment in humans, represents the simplest way to assess the immunogenicity of mucosal vaccines and to supplement the diagnostic and monitoring of active mucosal infections. Our studies indicate that while the concept of an integrated mucosal immune network is clearly operational in humans (at least in regards to induction of secretory antibody responses), its generalization appears somewhat simplistic as illustrated by the compartmentalization of immune responses initiated in certain mucosal organs such as the small intestine and the tonsils. Finally, the potential of the cholera toxin B subunit as a carrier for delivery of chemically or genetically linked foreign epitopes for induction of disseminated mucosal immune responses raises hope for the development of broadly applicable vaccines to control mucosal infections.

PMID:
7502829
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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