Mucosal vaccines for SARS-CoV-2: triumph of hope over experience
- Pilapitiya, Devaki
- Wheatley, Adam K.
- Tan, Hyon-Xhi
eBioMedicine, Volume 92, 2023-06-30
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Currently approved COVID-19 vaccines administered parenterally induce robust systemic humoral and cellular responses. While highly effective against severe disease, there is reduced effectiveness of these vaccines in preventing breakthrough infection and/or onward transmission, likely due to poor immunity elicited at the respiratory mucosa. As such, there has been considerable interest in developing novel mucosal vaccines that engenders more localised immune responses to provide better protection and recall responses at the site of virus entry, in contrast to traditional vaccine approaches that focus on systemic immunity. In this review, we explore the adaptive components of mucosal immunity, evaluate epidemiological studies to dissect if mucosal immunity conferred by parenteral vaccination or respiratory infection drives differential efficacy against virus acquisition or transmission, discuss mucosal vaccines undergoing clinical trials and assess key challenges and prospects for mucosal vaccine development.