Paul Kelly of Queen Mary, University of London in the United Kingdom and the University of Zambia will test the idea that retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A) given with an oral vaccine will boost the mucosal immune response. If successful, vitamin A derivatives could be used as adjuvants for oral vaccines that target childhood diarrhea. In this project's Phase I research, Kelly was able to demonstrate that retinoic acid enhances gut IgA responses to an oral typhoid vaccine in Zambian adults. In Phase II Kelly seeks to define the mechanisms by which retinoic acid works as an adjuvant, its optimal dosage, whether it works with other vaccines, and whether the effect can be generalized to children in tropical populations with varying degrees of growth impairment.
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