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Open Forum Infect Dis 2017 Feb 12;4(2):ofx023

Surveillance study of influenza occurrence and immunity in a Wisconsin cohort during the 2009 pandemic.

Lo CY, Strobl SL, Dunham K, Wang W, Stewart L, Misplon JA, Garcia M, Gao J, Ozawa T, Price GE, Navidad J, Gradus S, Bhattacharyya S, Viboud C, Eichelberger MC, Weiss CD, Gorski J, Epstein SL


BACKGROUND: Antibody and T-cell immunity to conserved influenza virus antigens can protect animals against infection with diverse influenza strains. Although immunity against conserved antigens occurs in humans, whether such responses provide cross-protection in humans and could be harnessed as the basis for universal influenza vaccines is controversial. The 2009 pandemic provided an opportunity to investigate whether pre-existing cross-reactive immunity affected susceptibility to infection. METHODS: In 2009, we banked sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from blood donors, then monitored them for pandemic influenza infection (pH1N1) by polymerase chain reaction or seroconversion. Antibodies to hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), nucleoprotein (NP), matrix 2 (M2), and HA-pseudotypes were measured in sera. T-cell inteferon-¿ enzyme-linked immunospot responses were measured in PBMC. RESULTS: There were 13 infections in 117 evaluable donors. Pre-existing T-cell reactivity to pH1N1 was substantial (of 153 donors tested, 146 had >100 spot-forming cells/106 cells). Antibodies reactive with pH1N1 were common: anti-NP (all donors) and anti-M2 (44% of donors). Pseudotype-neutralizing antibodies to H1 were detected, but not to highly conserved HA epitopes. Unexpectedly, donors with symptomatic pH1N1 infection had sharp rises in HA pseudotype-neutralizing antibodies, not only pH1N1 but also against multiple seasonal H1s. In addition, an exploratory study of a T-cell marker (response to NP418-426) identified probable infection missed by standard criteria. CONCLUSIONS: Although the number of infections was inadequate for conclusions about mechanisms of protection, this study documents the wide variety of pre-existing, cross-reactive, humoral and cellular immune responses to pandemic influenza virus antigens in humans. These responses can be compared with results of other studies and explored in universal influenza vaccine studies.

Category: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx023
PubMed Central ID: #PMC5510460
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics Medical Devices
Entry Created: 2017-03-21 Entry Last Modified: 2019-12-08