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Harnessing lung resident immune cells for mucosal vaccines

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Lisa Connor
Dr Benjamin Compton
Professor Ian Hermans
Professor Gavin Painter
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Protection against respiratory pathogens, including influenza virus are initiated by the mucosal immune system. However, most licenced vaccines are administered parenterally and are largely ineffective at inducing mucosal immunity. Due to the rigorous requirement for safety in vaccines, new designs are focusing on subunit vaccine formulations, which require the incorporation of an adjuvant, necessary for induction of the adaptive immune response. This poses a major barrier for mucosal delivery as most adjuvant formulations are not suitable. Our research focuses on a novel class of adjuvants that harness lung resident innate-like T cells. Importantly, we have generated evidence to show that innate-like T cell ligands co-administered with antigen act as effective mucosal adjuvants that induce potent humoral immunity. The goal of this research project is to identify the key immune cells and molecular events involved in driving adaptive immunity in the mucosa following immunisation with innate-like T cell-based vaccines for influenza.