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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e22603. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022603. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

Early adaptive humoral immune responses and virus clearance in humans recently infected with pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

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Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Few studies on the humoral immune responses in human during natural influenza infection have been reported. Here, we used serum samples from pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza infected patients to characterize the humoral immune responses to influenza during natural infection in humans. We observed for the first time that the pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza induced influenza A-specific IgM within days after symptoms onset, whereas the unit of IgG did not changed. The magnitude of influenza A-specific IgM antibodies might have a value in predicting the rate of virus clearance to some degree. However, the newly developed IgM was not associated with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) activities in the same samples but correlated with HI activities of subsequently collected sera which were mediated by IgG antibodies, indicating that IgM was critical for influenza infection and influences subsequent IgG antibody responses. These findings provide new important insights on the human immunity to natural influenza infection.

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