Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Jul 12;5:60.
doi: 10.3389/fnut.2018.00060. eCollection 2018.

The Well-Developed Mucosal Immune Systems of Birds and Mammals Allow for Similar Approaches of Mucosal Vaccination in Both Types of Animals

Free PMC article

The Well-Developed Mucosal Immune Systems of Birds and Mammals Allow for Similar Approaches of Mucosal Vaccination in Both Types of Animals

Tomonori Nochi et al. Front Nutr. .
Free PMC article


The mucosal immune system is a compartmentalized part of the immune system that provides local immunity in the mucosa of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and digestive tracts. It possesses secondary lymphoid tissues, which contain immune cells, such as T, B, and dendritic cells. Once the cells of the mucosal immune system are stimulated by luminal antigens, including microorganisms, they infiltrate into diffuse areas of mucosal tissues (e.g., respiratory mucosa and lamina propria of intestinal villi) and exhibit immune effector functions. Inducing the antigen-specific immune responses in mucosal tissues by mucosal vaccination would be an ideal strategy for not only humans, but also mammals and birds, to protect against infectious diseases occurring in mucosal tissues (e.g., pneumonia and diarrhea). Infectious diseases cause huge economic losses in agriculture, such as livestock and poultry industries. Since most infectious diseases occur in mucosal tissues, vaccines that are capable of inducing immune responses in mucosal tissues are in high need. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of mucosal immunity in mammals and birds, and recent progress in the development of mucosal vaccines.

Keywords: birds; mammals; mucosal immune system; mucosal vaccine; nutritional supplementation.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Unique structure of mucosa-associated lymphoid (MALTs). MALTs contain mature B cells that differentiate into antibody-producing plasma cells present in diffuse areas of mucosal tissues, such as lamia propria.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 3 articles


    1. Ohshima K, Hiramatsu K. Distribution of T-cell subsets and immunoglobulin-containing cells in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) of chickens. Histol Histopathol. (2000) 15:713–20. 10.14670/HH-15.713 - DOI - PubMed
    1. Jeurissen SH, Janse EM, Koch G, De Boer GF. Postnatal development of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues in chickens. Cell Tissue Res. (1989) 258:119–24. - PubMed
    1. Savage ML, Olah I, Scott TR. Plasma cell proliferation in the chicken harderian gland. Cell Prolif. (1992) 25:337–44. - PubMed
    1. Burns RB. Specific antibody production against a soluble antigen in the Harderian gland of the domestic fowl. Clin Exp Immunol. (1976) 26:371–4. - PMC - PubMed
    1. van Ginkel FW, van Santen VL, Gulley SL, Toro H. Infectious bronchitis virus in the chicken Harderian gland and lachrymal fluid: viral load, infectivity, immune cell responses, and effects of viral immunodeficiency. Avian Dis. (2008) 52:608–17. 10.1637/8349-050908-Reg.1 - DOI - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources