The ovine nasal mucosa: An alternative tissue site for mucosal immunization Academic Article uri icon


  • The ovine nasal mucosal environment has histological and ultrastructural features that resemble well-known inductive sites of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. In the present study, the nasal mucosa was assessed as a potential mucosal tissue site for delivering vaccines to sheep. Sheep were immunized by either injection with the model antigen, Keyhole Limpet Haemocyanin (KLH), and aluminium hydroxide gel (alum) or by aerosol spray with KLH with and without cholera toxin (CT). Sheep immunized by injection with KLH/alum and aerosol spray with KLH/CT induced strong anti-KLH IgG and IgA serum antibody responses as well as specific T cell memory. Anti-KLH IgG1 responses were significantly higher following immunization by injection and no significant differences in anti-KLH IgG2 responses were detected between groups. Sheep immunized with KLH by aerosol spray without CT did not produce serum antibody and T cell memory responses. Antibody-secreting cells were present in the parotid lymph nodes (draining lymph nodes) of sheep immunized with KLH/alum and KLH/CT, but secreted only Ag-specific IgG1, and not IgG2 or IgA. These results suggest that aerosolization of soluble antigen formulations with CT may provide an alternative method of delivering nasal vaccines to sheep and other large animal species, and that further improvements in antigen penetration of nasal tissues may dramatically improve the strength of the immune response.

publication date

  • February 2006

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