Journal article

The role of secretory antibodies in infection immunity

Richard A Strugnell, Odilia LC Wijburg

NATURE REVIEWS MICROBIOLOGY | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2010

Abstract

The mucosal secretory immune system provides an important primary defence against disease, as studies of humans with mucosal humoral immunodeficiencies suggest that the absence of secretory immunoglobulin A leads to an increase in mucosal infections. However, the infection risks posed do not seem to provide the evolutionary drive to retain constitutive secretion of often 'hard won' protein, suggesting that secretory antibodies may have some other important function (or functions). This Review examines the evidence that secretory antibodies provide an important defence against infection in specific animal models and explores complementary explanations for the evolution of the secretory immune..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors thank all students and staff from the University of Melbourne, Australia, who have contributed to the SIg projects. O.W. is a Career Development Award recipient of the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia). The authors apologize to those who have contributed to this field but could not be cited.