Author(s): Ogra PL, Faden H, Welliver RC
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Abstract Mucosal administration of vaccines is an important approach to the induction of appropriate immune responses to microbial and other environmental antigens in systemic sites and peripheral blood as well as in most external mucosal surfaces. The development of specific antibody- or T-cell-mediated immunologic responses and the induction of mucosally induced systemic immunologic hyporesponsiveness (oral or mucosal tolerance) depend on complex sets of immunologic events, including the nature of the antigenic stimulation of specialized lymphoid structures in the host, antigen-induced activation of different populations of regulatory T cells (Th1 versus Th2), and the expression of proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines. Availability of mucosal vaccines will provide a painless approach to deliver large numbers of vaccine antigens for human immunization. Currently, an average infant will receive 20 to 25 percutaneous injections for vaccination against different childhood infections by 18 months of age. It should be possible to develop for human use effective, nonliving, recombinant, replicating, transgenic, and microbial vector- or plant-based mucosal vaccines to prevent infections. Based on the experience with many dietary antigens, it is also possible to manipulate the mucosal immune system to induce systemic tolerance against environmental, dietary, and possibly other autoantigens associated with allergic and autoimmune disorders. Mucosal immunity offers new strategies to induce protective immune responses against a variety of infectious agents. Such immunization may also provide new prophylactic or therapeutic avenues in the control of autoimmune diseases in humans.
This article was published in Clin Microbiol Rev
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