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J Virol. 2008 Feb;82(3):1350-9. Epub 2007 Nov 21.

Induction of heterosubtypic immunity to influenza virus by intranasal immunization.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1510 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322.


Recovery from live influenza virus infection is known to induce heterosubtypic immunity. In contrast, immunity induced by inactivated vaccines is predominantly subtype specific. In this study, we investigated the heterosubtypic protective immunity induced by inactivated influenza virus. Intranasal immunization of mice with inactivated influenza virus A/PR8 (H1N1) provided complete protection against the homologous virus and a drift virus within the same subtype, A/WSN (H1N1), but not against the heterosubtypic virus A/Philippines (H3N2). However, coadministration of inactivated virus with cholera toxin as an adjuvant conferred complete heterosubtypic protection, without observed illness, even under conditions of CD4(+) or CD8(+) T-cell depletion. Analysis of immune correlates prior to challenge and postchallenge indicated that humoral immune responses with cross-neutralizing activity in lungs and in sera play a major role in conferring protective immunity against heterosubtypic challenge. This study has significant implications for developing broadly cross-reactive vaccines against newly emerging pathogenic influenza viruses.

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