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J Virol. 2011 Jan;85(1):200-7. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01624-10. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Induction of type I interferon secretion through recombinant Newcastle disease virus expressing measles virus hemagglutinin stimulates antibody secretion in the presence of maternal antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Biosciences, The Ohio State University, 1925 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Measles virus (MV) vaccine effectively protects seronegative individuals against infection. However, inhibition of vaccine-induced seroconversion by maternal antibodies after vaccination remains a problem, as it leaves infants susceptible to MV infection. In cotton rats, passive transfer of MV-specific IgG mimics maternal antibodies and inhibits vaccine-induced seroconversion. Here, we report that immunization in the presence of passively transferred IgG inhibits the secretion of neutralizing antibodies but not the generation of MV-specific B cells. This finding suggested that MV-specific B cells require an additional stimulus to mature into antibody-secreting plasma cells. In order to provide such a stimulus, we generated a recombinant Newcastle disease virus (NDV) expressing the MV hemagglutinin (NDV-H). In contrast to MV, NDV-H induced high levels of type I interferon in plasmacytoid dendritic cells and in lung tissue. In cotton rats immunized with NDV-H, neutralizing antibodies were also generated in the presence of passively transferred antibodies. In the latter case, however, the level and kinetics of antibody generation were reduced. In vitro, alpha interferon stimulated the activation of MV-specific B cells from MV-immune spleen cells. NDV infection (which induces alpha interferon) had the same effect, and stimulation could be abrogated by antibodies neutralizing alpha interferon, but not interleukin 6 (IL-6). In vivo, coapplication of UV-inactivated MV with NDV led to increased MV-specific antibody production in the presence and absence of passively transferred antibodies. These data indicate that MV-specific B cells are being generated after immunization in the presence of maternal antibodies and that the provision of alpha interferon as an additional signal leads to antibody secretion.

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