Upper respiratory tract mucosal immunity for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines

Rupsha Fraser*, Aurelio Orta-Resendiz, Alexander Mazein, David H. Dockrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

SARS-CoV-2 vaccination significantly reduces morbidity and mortality, but has less impact on viral transmission rates, thus aiding viral evolution, and the longevity of vaccine-induced immunity rapidly declines. Immune responses in respiratory tract mucosal tissues are crucial for early control of infection, and can generate long-term antigen-specific protection with prompt recall responses. However, currently approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are not amenable to adequate respiratory mucosal delivery, particularly in the upper airways, which could account for the high vaccine breakthrough infection rates and limited duration of vaccine-mediated protection. In view of these drawbacks, we outline a strategy that has the potential to enhance both the efficacy and durability of existing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, by inducing robust memory responses in the upper respiratory tract (URT) mucosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date22 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • interferon-1
  • SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
  • upper respiratory tract mucosal immunity
  • vaccine breakthrough infections
  • waning immunity


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