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J Immunol. 2013 Apr 15;190(8):3854-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202790. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

Cutting edge: rapid boosting of cross-reactive memory CD8 T cells broadens the protective capacity of the Flumist vaccine.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Memory CD8 T cells recognizing conserved proteins from influenza A virus (IAV), such as nucleoprotein, have the potential to provide protection in individuals who lack the proper neutralizing Abs. In this study, we show that the most potent CD8 T cell-inducing influenza vaccine on the market (Flumist) does not induce sufficient numbers of cross-reactive CD8 T cells to provide substantial protection against lethal nonhomologous IAV challenge. However, Flumist-primed CD8 T cells rapidly acquire memory characteristics and can respond to short-interval boosting to greatly enlarge the IAV-specific memory pool, which is sufficient to protect mice from nonhomologous IAV challenge. Thus, a current vaccine strategy, Flumist, may serve as a priming platform for the rapid induction of large numbers of memory CD8 T cells with the capacity for broad protection against influenza.

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