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Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an unconventional T cell population that are highly abundant in humans. They possess a semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR) that recognises microbial metabolites formed during riboflavin biosynthesis, presented on a nonpolymorphic MHC-like molecule MR1. MAIT cells possess an array of effector functions, including type 1, type 17, and tissue repair activity. Deployment of these functions depends on the stimuli they receive through their TCR and/or cytokine receptors. Strong cytokine signalling, such as in response to vaccination, can bypass TCR triggering and provokes a strong proinflammatory response. Although data are still emerging, multiple aspects of MAIT cell biology are associated with modulation of immunity induced by the coronavirus disease 2019 mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccines. In this review, we will address how MAIT cells may play a role in immunogenicity of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and how these cells can be harnessed as cellular adjuvants.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Virol

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