Evidence for a common mucosal immune system in the pig.

Research paper by Heather L HL Wilson, Milan R MR Obradovic

Indexed on: 23 Sep '14Published on: 23 Sep '14Published in: Molecular Immunology


The majority of lymphocytes activated at mucosal sites receive instructions to home back to the local mucosa, but a portion also seed distal mucosa sites. By seeding distal sites with antigen-specific effector or memory lymphocytes, the foundation is laid for the animal's mucosal immune system to respond with a secondary response should to this antigen be encountered at this site in the future. The common mucosal immune system has been studied quite extensively in rodent models but less so in large animal models such as the pig. Reasons for this paucity of reported induction of the common mucosal immune system in this species may be that distal mucosal sites were examined but no induction was observed and therefore it was not reported. However, we suspect that the majority of investigators simply did not sample distal mucosal sites and therefore there is little evidence of immune response induction in the literature. It is our hope that more pig immunologists and infectious disease experts who perform mucosal immunizations or inoculations on pigs will sample distal mucosal sites and report their findings, whether results are positive or negative. In this review, we highlight papers that show that immunization/inoculation using one route triggers mucosal immune system induction locally, systemically, and within at least one distal mucosal site. Only by understanding whether immunizations at one site triggers immunity throughout the common mucosal immune system can we rationally develop vaccines for the pig, and through these works we can gather evidence about the mucosal immune system that may be extrapolated to other livestock species or humans.