About this Research Topic
Our body has a sophisticated system to maintain homeostasis and prevent illness. Exogenous stimuli including a variety of pathogens, mostly invading through a mucosal surface such as the gut or respiratory epithelium, stimulate the immune system to activate multiple mechanisms of host defenses. Thus, the enhancement of mucosal immune function to limit harmful effects from environmental elements is an important strategy for preventing and/or treating diseases.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is the main antibody isotype secreted at the mucosal surface. IgA plays a critical role in the defense against pathogens and in the maintenance of mucosal homeostasis through commensal microbial control. Not only the magnitude but the quality (high-affinity and cross-reactivity) of mucosal IgA is important for protection. However, the specific exogenous stimuli which can induce mucosal high-affinity IgA are not known. The global rise in antibiotic resistance is a major challenge in the clinical treatment of infectious diseases caused by pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and cephalosporin-resistant Neisseria gonorrhea, all of which are urgent threats world-wide. An improved understanding of IgA’s target molecules and the mechanisms involved in the induction of antimicrobial IgA through local antigenic stimulation will aid the development of new strategies to improve the quality of IgA through vaccination.
This Research Topic aims to improve our understanding of the development and protective role of IgA elicited through mucosal vaccination. Effective vaccines against mucosal pathogens have been elusive in part due to the limited knowledge of the exact mechanisms of protective immunity. Thus, this research topic aims to divulge knowledge on novel strategies of vaccination and explore the origins and contributions of mucosal IgA against a variety of pathogens.
We welcome the submission of Mini-Review, Review, Original Research, and Perspective articles focusing on, but are not limited to, the following sub-topics:
1. Specific stimuli or molecules that induce high-affinity and cross-reactive mucosal IgA.
2. The role of mucosal IgA in protection against pathogens and maintenance of mucosal homeostasis.
3. The novel vaccination strategy to enhance mucosal IgA, including adjuvants, monoclonal antibodies, antigenic epitopes of pathogens, etc.
4. Mechanisms of production and function of mucosal IgA.
Prof. Kiyono is a founder of HanaVax. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.
Keywords: mucosal immunity, vaccination, mucosal IgA
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.