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J Virol. 2013 Dec;87(24):13706-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01666-13. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Standard trivalent influenza virus protein vaccination does not prime antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in macaques.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Yearly vaccination with the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) is recommended, since current vaccines induce little cross neutralization to divergent influenza strains. Whether the TIV can induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) responses that can cross-recognize divergent influenza virus strains is unknown. We immunized 6 influenza-naive pigtail macaques twice with the 2011-2012 season TIV and then challenged the macaques, along with 12 control macaques, serially with H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. We measured ADCC responses in plasma to a panel of H1 and H3 hemagglutinin (HA) proteins and influenza virus-specific CD8 T cell (CTL) responses using a sensitive major histocompatibility complex (MHC) tetramer reagent. The TIV was weakly immunogenic and, although binding antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), did not induce detectable influenza virus-specific ADCC or CTL responses. The H1N1 challenge elicited robust ADCC to both homologous and heterologous H1 HA proteins, but not influenza virus HA proteins from different subtypes (H2 to H7). There was no anamnestic influenza virus-specific ADCC or CTL response in vaccinated animals. The subsequent H3N2 challenge did not induce or boost ADCC either to H1 HA proteins or to divergent H3 proteins but did boost CTL responses. ADCC or CTL responses were not induced by TIV vaccination in influenza-naive macaques. There was a marked difference in the ability of infection compared to that of vaccination to induce cross-reactive ADCC and CTL responses. Improved vaccination strategies are needed to induce broad-based ADCC immunity to influenza.

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