HIV Mucosal Immunology Group

Mucosal Immunology Group


In order to advance rational HIV vaccine designs that can efficiently generate long-lived mucosal immunity, better tools for measuring mucosal immune responses in humans are needed. Standardization of specimen collections has focused primarily on mucosal secretions to evaluate antibody responses. By contrast, less effort has been devoted to optimize and standardize the collection of mucosal secretions and tissues to identify both innate and adaptive cellular responses. Thus, precise and comprehensive characterization of mucosal cellular immunity using well-standardized specimen collection methods and detection assays are critically needed. This program will guide vaccine and study designs to ultimately determine which regimens efficiently induce mucosal HIV-specific responses, and furthermore, which strategies may potentially enhance HIV-1 infection through mucosal immune activation.


Mission of the Mucosal Immunology Group

The mission of the Mucosal Immunology Group is to identify critical areas of need for a Scientific Agenda that will guide future mucosal studies. Addressing the questions within the Scientific Agenda will lead to improvement and standardization of mucosal specimen collection for use in clinical trials and assay development for an enhanced understanding of HIV-specific cellular immunity in the mucosa.


Scientific Agenda Top Priorities

The DAIDS-sponsored Mucosal Immunity Workshop held in June 2009 presented an opportunity to identify areas of focus in mucosal immunology that will advance the field. The recommendations brought forward from that meeting form the basis for the Mucosal Immunology Group Scientific Agenda. The Scientific Agenda sets the course for the Mucosal Immunology Group in two major areas:

  1. Develop standardized protocols for mucosal sample collection, storage, and transportation for use in clinical trials.
  2. Standardized assays to measure and characterize the major effector and memory mucosal immune responses in the GI and GU tracts.

Do you have an idea for a mucosal study you would like to pursue within the scope of the Mucosal Immunology Group? Click here to submit your idea.


Best Practices in Mucosal Sampling Workshop
Advances in HIV Mucosal Immunology
Speaking of Medicine PLOS Blog
Capturing Participant Information for Mucosal Sampling: An Investigator’s Guide
MIG Scientific Agenda
Idea Submission
Current MIG Research
MIG Portal

Funded by


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation