Mucosal vaccinations

We study how antibody forming cells entry respond to antigen delivered through the gut mucosa. As opposed to conventional vaccinations such as intra-dermal or intra-muscular, very little is known about selection of B cells for germinal entry and affinity maturation in the intestinal track. Establishing immunity by oral delivery of immunogen is a very challenging process as the vaccine-specific B cells have to outcompete B cells that are specific for immense amount of gut-derived antigens. We aim to understand whether similar or different set of rules and regulation govern entry into immune response in the gut when compared to the lymph node.

In addition, we examine nasal vaccinations wherein antigen is delivered via the airways. This type of vaccine is used to deliver flu antigens by using aerosol sprays. Very little is known about how these vaccines work and how do the responding cells are distributed in different niches. Understanding this process may lead to improvement of nasal vaccination against influenza and other viral pathogens.