Current intramuscular COVID-19 and influenza vaccine strategies prevent severe disease, but remain inefficient at preventing infection, transmission and the generation of new viral variants. Lung infection can induce lung populations of resident plasma cells and memory B cells that could improve protection from variants and transmission blocking, but we know little about how to induce and maintain these populations with intranasal vaccines. In the Rodda Lab, we study the requirements for these protective resident plasma cells and memory B cells to establish, survive and function in the respiratory tract. We are particularly focused on their interactions with their local niche which distinguishes these front-line defenders from their circulating counterparts.
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