Methods to Improve Mucosal Immune Response During Vaccination
A method for enhancing the mucosal (IgA) immune response by transiently blocking a specific cellular subset during vaccination.
Mucosal IgA are immunoglobulins (antibodies) that play a key role in the defense of mucosal tissues by neutralizing pathogenic microorganisms and toxins and interfering with bacterial or viral colonization of the epithelium. An important component of needle-free vaccines is induction of mucosal IgA responses; however, relatively few vaccines are able to elicite this response.
Most of today's vaccines are injected and the formulae contain alum as an adjuvant, which fails to effectively induce IgA. Cholera and E. coli are the most studied experimental adjuvants for induction of IgA, however, their inherent toxicity precludes their use in oral or nasal vaccines. As a result, safe and reliable methods for inducing IgA by vaccines are needed.
Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, led by Dr. Prosper Boyaka, developed a method for enhancing mucosal IgA response by targeting a subset of myeloid cells, which provide signals to temporarily limit the activity of B lymphocytes. B lymphocytes are cells that produce antibodies which interfere with mucosal IgA production, thereby hindering the body's defense against pathogens and toxins. These researchers have reported several methods to limit recruitment of and/or block the function of B lymphocytes. Additionally, these methods are not specific to a single vaccine and are expected to improve induction of IgA by most vaccine formulations, regardless of the route of delivery. These methods have potential to improve the defense of mucosal surfaces, where most bacterial and viral pathogens enter the body, and improve the overall health of animals.