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J Immunol. 2007 Jan 15;178(2):1030-8.

Priming with cold-adapted influenza A does not prevent infection but elicits long-lived protection against supralethal challenge with heterosubtypic virus.

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Trudeau Institute, 154 Algonquin Avenue, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, USA.


We show in this study several novel features of T cell-based heterosubtypic immunity against the influenza A virus in mice. First, T cell-mediated heterosubtypic protection against lethal challenge can be generated by a very low priming dose. Second, it becomes effective within 5-6 days. Third, it provides protection against a very high dose challenge for >70 days. Also novel is the finding that strong, long-lasting, heterosubtypic protection can be elicited by priming with attenuated cold-adapted strains. We demonstrate that priming does not prevent infection of the lungs following challenge, but leads to earlier clearance of the virus and 100% survival after otherwise lethal challenge. Protection is dependent on CD8 T cells, and we show that CD4 and CD8 T cells reactive to conserved epitopes of the core proteins of the challenge virus are present after priming. Our results suggest that intranasal vaccination with cold-adapted, attenuated live virus has the potential to provide effective emergency protection against emerging influenza strains for several months.

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