The mucosal surfaces are constantly exposed to incoming pathogens which can cause infections that result in severe morbidity and/or mortality. Studies have reported that mucosal immunity is important for providing protection against these pathogens and that mucosal vaccination is effective in preventing local infections. For many years, the sublingual mucosa has been targeted to deliver immunotherapy to treat allergic hypersensitivities. However, the potential of vaccine delivery via sublingual mucosal has received little attention until recently. Recent studies exploring such potential have documented the safety and effectiveness of sublingual immunization, demonstrating the ability of sublingual immunization to induce both systemic and mucosal immune responses against a variety of antigens, including soluble proteins, inter particulate antigens, and live-attenuated viruses.
This review will summarize the recent findings that address the promising potential of sublingual immunization in proving protection against various mucosal pathogens.