The essentiality of alpha-2-macroglobulin in human salivary innate immunity against new H1N1 swine origin influenza A virus.
ABSTRACT A novel strain of influenza A H1N1 emerged in the spring of 2009 and has spread rapidly throughout the world. Although vaccines have recently been developed that are expected to be protective, their availability was delayed until well into the influenza season. Although anti-influenza drugs such as neuraminidase inhibitors can be effective, resistance to these drugs has already been reported. Although human saliva was known to inhibit viral infection and may thus prevent viral transmission, the components responsible for this activity on influenza virus, in particular, influenza A swine origin influenza A virus (S-OIV), have not yet been defined. By using a proteomic approach in conjunction with beads that bind alpha-2,6-sialylated glycoprotein, we determined that an alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M) and an A2M-like protein are essential components in salivary innate immunity against hemagglutination mediated by a clinical isolate of S-OIV (San Diego/01/09 S-OIV). A model of an A2M-based "double-edged sword" on competition of alpha-2,6-sialylated glycoprotein receptors and inactivation of host proteases is proposed. We emphasize that endogenous A2M in human innate immunity functions as a natural inhibitor against S-OIV.