Original antigenic sin responses to influenza viruses.
ABSTRACT Most immune responses follow Burnet's rule in that Ag recruits specific lymphocytes from a large repertoire and induces them to proliferate and differentiate into effector cells. However, the phenomenon of "original antigenic sin" stands out as a paradox to Burnet's rule of B cell engagement. Humans, upon infection with a novel influenza strain, produce Abs against older viral strains at the expense of responses to novel, protective antigenic determinants. This exacerbates the severity of the current infection. This blind spot of the immune system and the redirection of responses to the "original Ag" rather than to novel epitopes were described fifty years ago. Recent reports have questioned the existence of this phenomenon. Hence, we revisited this issue to determine the extent to which original antigenic sin is induced by variant influenza viruses. Using two related strains of influenza A virus, we show that original antigenic sin leads to a significant decrease in development of protective immunity and recall responses to the second virus. In addition, we show that sequential infection of mice with two live influenza virus strains leads to almost exclusive Ab responses to the first viral strain, suggesting that original antigenic sin could be a potential strategy by which variant influenza viruses subvert the immune system.
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ABSTRACT: Secondary pneumonia due to Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of the research was designed a novel DNA vaccine encoding the Mycobacterium tuberculosis secreted antigen Ag85A fused with the influenza A virus (IAV) HA2 protein to provide protection against both influenza and secondary infection with S. aureus. The DNA vaccine vector efficiently expressed the encoded antigen in mammalian cells, as determined by RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis. Mice were immunized with the vaccine by intramuscular injection before challenge with IAV and S. aureus. The pulmonary and the splenocyte culture IFN-gamma levels were significant higher in immunized mice than their respective controls. Although the antibody titer in the HI test was low, the sera of mice immunized with the novel vaccine vector were effective in neutralisation assay in vitro. The vaccine could reduce the loss of body weight in mice during IAV challenge. Both Western blotting and RT-PCR showed that the vaccine markedly enhanced toll like receptor 2 (TLR2) expression in splenocytes after the secondary infection with S. aureus. The survival rate of mice with high TLR2 expression (pEGFP/Ag85A-HA2 or iPR) was significantly increased compared with mice immunized with pEGFP/HA2 after challenge with S. aureus. However, the pulmonary IL-10 concentration and S. aureus titer were significantly decreased in immunized mice, and expression of TLR2 was increased after challenge with S. aureus. These results demonstrated that Ag85A could strengthen the immune response to IAV and S. aureus, and TLR2 was involved in the host response to S. aureus..Virology Journal 01/2013; 10(1):40. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The worldwide spread of a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus in 2009 showed that influenza remains a significant health threat, even for individuals in the prime of life. This paper focuses on the unusually high young adult mortality observed during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. Using historical records from Canada and the U.S., we report a peak of mortality at the exact age of 28 during the pandemic and argue that this increased mortality resulted from an early life exposure to influenza during the previous Russian flu pandemic of 1889-90. We posit that in specific instances, development of immunological memory to an influenza virus strain in early life may lead to a dysregulated immune response to antigenically novel strains encountered in later life, thereby increasing the risk of death. Exposure during critical periods of development could also create holes in the T cell repertoire and impair fetal maturation in general, thereby increasing mortality from infectious diseases later in life. Knowledge of the age-pattern of susceptibility to mortality from influenza could improve crisis management during future influenza pandemics.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e69586. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are associated with upper and lower respiratory illnesses, including severe infections causing hospitalization in both children and adults. Although the clinical significance of HRV infections is now well established, no detailed investigation of the immune response against HRV has been performed. The purpose of this study was to assess the IgG1 antibody response to the three known HRV species, HRV-A, -B and -C in healthy subjects. Recombinant polypeptides of viral capsid protein 1 (VP1) from two genotypes of HRV-A, -B and -C were expressed as glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins and purified by affinity and then size exclusion chromatography. The presence of secondary structures similar to the natural antigens was verified by circular dichroism analysis. Total and species-specific IgG1 measurements were quantitated by immunoassays and immunoabsorption using sera from 63 healthy adults. Most adult sera reacted with the HRV VP1 antigens, at high titres. As expected, strong cross-reactivity between HRV genotypes of the same species was found. A high degree of cross-reactivity between different HRV species was also evident, particularly between HRV-A and HRV-C. Immunoabsorption studies revealed HRV-C specific titres were markedly and significantly lower than the HRV-A and HRV-B specific titres (P<0.0001). A truncated construct of HRV-C VP1 showed greater specificity in detecting anti-HRV-C antibodies. High titres of IgG1 antibody were bound by the VP1 capsid proteins of HRV-A, -B and -C, but for the majority of people, a large proportion of the antibody to HRV-C was cross-reactive, especially to HRV-A. The improved specificity found for the truncated HRV-C VP1 indicates species-specific and cross-reactive regions could be defined.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70552. · 3.73 Impact Factor