Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Protective immune responses against respiratory pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza virus, are initiated by the mucosal immune system. However, most licensed vaccines are administered parenterally and are largely ineffective at inducing mucosal immunity. The development of safe and effective mucosal vaccines has been hampered by the lack of a suitable mucosal adjuvant. In this study we explore a class of adjuvant that harnesses mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. We show evidence that intranasal immunization of MAIT cell agonists co-administered with protein, including the spike receptor binding domain from SARS-CoV-2 virus and hemagglutinin from influenza virus, induce protective humoral immunity and immunoglobulin A production. MAIT cell adjuvant activity is mediated by CD40L-dependent activation of dendritic cells and subsequent priming of T follicular helper cells. In summary, we show that MAIT cells are promising vaccine targets that can be utilized as cellular adjuvants in mucosal vaccines.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Rep

Publication Date





CP: Immunology, IgA, MAIT cell, SARS-CoV-2, T(FH) cell, adjuvant, dendritic cell, humoral immunity, influenza, mucosal vaccine