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Hum Immunol. 2000 Sep;61(9):845-9.

Comparison of in vitro immunostimulatory potential of live and inactivated influenza viruses.

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Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Live influenza viruses, heat-inactivated virus, and a trivalent formalin-inactivated influenza vaccine were analyzed for their in vitro stimulatory properties on immune cells from healthy donors. Lymphocyte proliferation induced by each influenza antigen was comparable. Influenza vaccine stimulated significantly lower production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) compared with live and heat inactivated viruses, whereas both vaccine and heat-inactivated influenza induced lower levels of IFN-alpha compared with live virus. Furthermore, only live virus generated influenza-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activity. A significant increase in monocyte expression of CD80, CD86, CD40, and human leukocyte antigen-DR (HLA-DR) was also induced by live influenza virus. Our results suggest that immunization with live influenza vaccines might induce immune responses that would not be induced by conventional inactivated vaccines, including CTL generation, antiviral IFN-gamma and IFN-alpha cytokine production, and increased antigen presentation and costimulatory capacity on antigen presenting cells (APC).

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