Guus F Rimmelzwaan

Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (341)1894.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Importance: Influenza viruses are an important cause of acute respiratory tract infections. Natural influenza A virus infections elicit both humoral and cellular immunity. CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are directed predominantly against conserved internal proteins and confer cross-protection, even against influenza A viruses of various subtypes. In some CTL epitopes mutations occur that allow influenza A viruses to evade from recognition by CTLs. However, the immunodominant HLA-A*0201 restricted M158-66 epitope does not tolerate mutations without loss of viral fitness. Here, we describe naturally occurring variations in amino acid residues outside the M158-66 epitope that influence the recognition of the epitope. These results provide novel insights in the epidemiology of influenza A viruses and their pathogenicity and may aid rational design of vaccines that aim at the induction of CTL responses.
    Journal of Virology 11/2015; DOI:10.1128/JVI.02439-15 · 4.44 Impact Factor
  • Carolien E van de Sandt · Rogier Bodewes · Guus F Rimmelzwaan · Rory D de Vries ·
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    ABSTRACT: In contrast to influenza A viruses, which have been investigated extensively, influenza B viruses have attracted relatively little attention. However, influenza B viruses are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the human population and full understanding of their biological and epidemiological properties is imperative to better control this important pathogen. However, some of its characteristics are still elusive and warrant investigation. Here, we review evolution, epidemiology, pathogenesis and immunity and identify gaps in our knowledge of influenza B viruses. The divergence of two antigenically distinct influenza B viruses is highlighted. The co-circulation of viruses of these two lineages necessitated the development of quadrivalent influenza vaccines, which is discussed in addition to possibilities to develop universal vaccination strategies.
    Future Microbiology 09/2015; 10(9). DOI:10.2217/fmb.15.65 · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    Guus Rimmelzwaan · Isabel Leroux-Roels · Sarah Gilbert · Angus Thomson ·

    Vaccine 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.07.068 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since 2013, avian influenza viruses of subtype H7N9 have been transmitted from poultry to humans in China and caused severe disease. Concerns persist over the pandemic potential of this virus and further understanding of immunity and transmission is required. The isogenic guinea pig model uniquely would allow for investigation into both. Eighteen female isogenic guinea pigs 12-16 weeks were inoculated intratracheally with either A/H7N9 virus (n=12) or PBS (n=6) and sacrificed on days 2 and 7 post-inoculation. Nasal and pharyngeal swabs were taken daily to assess viral replication kinetics and necropsies were performed to study pathogenesis. All animals showed peak virus titers in nasal secretions at day 2 post-inoculation and by day 7 post-inoculation infectious virus titers had decreased to just above detectable levels. At day 2, high virus titers were found in nasal turbinates and lungs and moderate titers in trachea and cerebrum. At day 7, infectious virus was detected in the nasal turbinates only. Histology showed moderate to severe inflammation in the entire respiratory tract and immunohistochemistry (IHC) demonstrated large numbers of viral antigen positive cells in the nasal epithelium at day 2 and fewer at day 7 post-inoculation. A moderate number of IHC positive cells was observed in the bronchi(oli) and alveoli at day 2 only. This study indicates that isogenic guinea pigs are a promising model to further study immunity to and transmission of H7N9 influenza virus. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.08.050 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bioluminescent and fluorescent influenza A viruses offer new opportunities to study influenza virus replication, tropism and pathogenesis. To date, several influenza A reporter viruses have been described. These strategies typically focused on a single reporter gene (either bioluminescent or fluorescent) in a single virus backbone. However, whilst bioluminescence is suited to in vivo imaging, fluorescent viruses are more appropriate for microscopy. Therefore, the idea l reporter virus varies depending on the experiment in question, and it is important that any reporter virus strategy can be adapted accordingly. Herein, a strategy was developed to create five different reporter viruses in a single virus backbone. Specifically, enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP), far-red fluorescent protein (fRFP), near-infrared fluorescent protein (iRFP), Gaussia luciferase (gLUC) and firefly luciferase (fLUC) were inserted into the PA gene segment of A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). This study provides a comprehensive characterisation of the effects of different reporter genes on influenza virus replication and reporter activity. In vivo reporter gene expression, in lung tissues, was only detected for eGFP, fRFP and gLUC expressing viruses. In vitro, the eGFP-expressing virus displayed the best reporter stability and could be used for correlative light electron microscopy (CLEM). This strategy was then used to create eGFP-expressing viruses consisting entirely of pandemic H1N1, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and H7N9. The HPAI H5N1 eGFP-expressing virus infected mice and reporter gene expression was detected, in lung tissues, in vivo. Thus, this study provides new tools and insights for the creation of bioluminescent and fluorescent influenza A reporter viruses.
    PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0133888. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0133888 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heterosubtypic immunity is defined as immune-mediated (partial) protection against an influenza virus induced by an influenza virus of another subtype to which the host has not previously been exposed. This cross-protective effect has not yet been demonstrated to the newly emerging avian influenza A viruses of the H7N9 subtype. Here, we assessed the induction of protective immunity to these viruses by infection with A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in a newly developed guinea pig model. To this end, ten female 12-16 week old strain 2 guinea pigs were inoculated intratracheally with either A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza virus or PBS (unprimed controls) followed 4 weeks later with an A/H7N9 influenza virus challenge. Nasal swabs were taken daily and animals from both groups were sacrificed on days 2 and 7 post inoculation (p.i.) with A/H7N9 virus and full necropsies were performed. Nasal virus excretion persisted until day 7 in unprimed control animals, whereas only two out of seven H1N1pdm09-primed animals excreted virus via the nose. Infectious virus was recovered from nasal turbinates, trachea and lung of all animals at day 2 p.i., but titers were lower for H1N1pdm09-primed animals, especially in the nasal turbinates. By day 7 p.i., relatively high virus titers were found in the nasal turbinates of all unprimed control animals but infectious virus was isolated from the nose of only one of four H1N1pdm09-primed animals. Animals of both groups developed inflammation of variable severity in the entire respiratory tract. Viral antigen positive cells were demonstrated in the nasal epithelium of both groups at day 2. The bronchi(oli) and alveoli of unprimed animals showed a moderate to strong positive signal at day 2, whereas H1N1pdm09-primed animals showed only minimal positivity. By day 7, only viral antigen positive cells were found after H7N9 virus infection in the nasal turbinates and the lungs of unprimed controls. Thus infection with H1N1pdm09 virus induced partially protective heterosubtypic immunity to H7N9 virus in (isogenic) guinea pigs that could not be attributed to cross-reactive virus neutralizing antibodies. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.08.038 · 3.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Antigenic characterization of influenza viruses is typically based on hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay data for viral isolates tested against strain-specific postinfection ferret antisera. Here, similar virus characterizations were performed using serological data from humans with primary influenza A(H3N2) infection. Methods: We screened sera collected between 1995 and 2011 from children between 9 and 24 months of age for influenza virus antibodies, performed HI tests for the positive sera against 23 influenza viruses isolated between 1989 and 2011, and measured HI titers of antisera against influenza A(H3N2) from 24 ferrets against the same panel of viruses. Results: Of the 17 positive human sera, 6 had a high response, showing HI patterns that would be expected from primary infection antisera, while 11 sera had lower, more dispersed patterns of reactivity that are not easily explained. The antigenic map based on the high-response human HI data was similar to the map created using ferret data. Conclusions: Although the overall structure of the ferret and human antigenic maps is similar, local differences in virus positions indicate that the human and ferret immune system might see antigenic properties of viruses differently. Further studies are needed to establish the degree of similarity between serological patterns in ferret and human data.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2015; DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiv367 · 6.00 Impact Factor
  • Rory D de Vries · Arwen F Altenburg · Guus F Rimmelzwaan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Currently used influenza vaccines are only effective when the vaccine strains match the epidemic strains antigenically. To this end, seasonal influenza vaccines must be updated almost annually. Furthermore, seasonal influenza vaccines fail to afford protection against antigenically distinct pandemic influenza viruses. Because of an ever-present threat of the next influenza pandemic and the continuous emergence of drift variants of seasonal influenza A viruses, there is a need for an universal influenza vaccine that induces protective immunity against all influenza A viruses. Here, we summarize some of the efforts that are ongoing to develop universal influenza vaccines.
    Expert Review of Vaccines 06/2015; 14(10):1-3. DOI:10.1586/14760584.2015.1060860 · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 viruses that emerged in poultry in East Asia spread to Europe and North America by late 2014. Here we show that the European HPAI H5N8 viruses differ from the Korean and Japanese HPAI H5N8 viruses by several amino acids and that a Dutch HPAI H5N8 virus had low virulence and was not transmitted via the airborne route in ferrets. The virus did not cross-react with sera raised against pre-pandemic H5 vaccine strains. This data is useful for public health risk assessments.
    PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0129827. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129827 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Influenza-related morbidity and mortality remain high. Seasonal vaccination is the backbone of influenza management but does not always result in protective antibody titers. Nonspecific effects of BCG vaccination related to enhanced function of myeloid antigen-presenting cells have been reported. We hypothesized that BCG vaccination could also enhance immune responses to influenza vaccination. Methods: Healthy volunteers received either live attenuated BCG vaccine (n = 20) or placebo (n = 20) in a randomized fashion, followed by intramuscular injection of trivalent influenza vaccine 14 days later. Hemagglutination-inhibiting (HI) antibodies and cellular immunity measured by ex vivo leukocyte responses were assessed. Results: In BCG-vaccinated subjects, HI antibody responses against the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) vaccine strain were significantly enhanced, compared with the placebo group, and there was a trend toward more-rapid seroconversion. Additionally, apart from enhanced proinflammatory leukocyte responses following BCG vaccination, nonspecific effects of influenza vaccination were also observed, with modulation of cytokine responses against unrelated pathogens. Conclusions: BCG vaccination prior to influenza vaccination results in a more pronounced increase and accelerated induction of functional antibody responses against the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) vaccine strain. These results may have implications for the design of vaccination strategies and could lead to improvement of vaccination efficacy.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 06/2015; DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiv332 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    Lidewij C M Wiersma · Guus F Rimmelzwaan · Rory D de Vries ·
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza viruses have a huge impact on public health. Current influenza vaccines need to be updated annually and protect poorly against antigenic drift variants or novel emerging subtypes. Vaccination against influenza can be improved in two important ways, either by inducing more broadly protective immune responses or by decreasing the time of vaccine production, which is relevant especially during a pandemic outbreak. In this review, we outline the current efforts to develop so-called "universal influenza vaccines", describing antigens that may induce broadly protective immunity and novel vaccine production platforms that facilitate timely availability of vaccines.
    Vaccines 06/2015; 3(2):239-262. DOI:10.3390/vaccines3020239
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    Emerging Infectious Diseases 06/2015; 21(6):1086-8. DOI:10.3201/eid2106.150021 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza B viruses fall in two antigenically distinct lineages (B/Victoria/2/1987 and B/Yamagata/16/1988 lineage) that co-circulate with influenza A viruses of the H3N2 and H1N1 subtype during seasonal epidemics. Infections with influenza B viruses contribute considerably to morbidity and mortality in the human population. Influenza B virus neutralizing antibodies, elicited by natural infections or vaccination, poorly cross-react with viruses of the opposing influenza B lineage. Therefore, there is an increased interest in identifying other correlates of protection which could aid the development of broadly-protective vaccines. BLAST analysis revealed high sequence identity of all viral proteins. With two online epitope prediction algorithms, putative conserved epitopes relevant for study subjects used in the present study, were predicted. The cross-reactivity of influenza B virus-specific polyclonal CD8+ T lymphocyte populations, obtained from HLA-typed healthy study subjects, with intra-lineage drift variants and viruses of the opposing lineage was determined by assessing their in vitro interferon gamma (IFN-γ) response and lytic activity. Here, we show for the first time, that CD8+ T lymphocytes directed to viruses of the B/Victoria lineage cross-react with viruses of the B/Yamagata lineage and vice versa.
    Journal of General Virology 04/2015; 96(8). DOI:10.1099/vir.0.000156 · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • Carolien E van de Sandt · Guus F Rimmelzwaan ·

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2015; 112(19). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1503245112 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The influenza season 2014/15 started in Europe in week 50 2014 with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating. The majority of the A(H3N2) viruses characterised antigenically and/or genetically differ from the northern hemisphere vaccine component which may result in reduced vaccine effectiveness for the season. We therefore anticipate that this season may be more severe than the 2013/14 season. Treating influenza with antivirals in addition to prevention with vaccination will be important. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 01/2015; 20(4):1-5. · 5.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: The majority of currently circulating influenza A(H1N1) viruses are antigenically similar to the virus that caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. However, antigenic variants are expected to emerge as population immunity increases. Amino acid substitutions in the hemagglutinin protein can result in escape from neutralizing antibodies, affect viral fitness, and change receptor preference. In this study, we constructed mutants with substitutions in the hemagglutinin of A/Netherlands/602/09 in an attenuated backbone to explore amino acid changes that may contribute to emergence of antigenic variants in the human population. Our analysis revealed that single substitutions affecting the loop that consists of amino acid positions 151 to 159 located adjacent to the receptor binding site caused escape from ferret and human antibodies elicited after primary A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection. The majority of these substitutions resulted in similar or increased replication efficiency in vitro compared to that of the virus carrying the wild-type hemagglutinin and did not result in a change of receptor preference. However, none of the substitutions was sufficient for escape from the antibodies in sera from individuals that experienced both seasonal and pandemic A(H1N1) virus infections. These results suggest that antibodies directed against epitopes on seasonal A(H1N1) viruses contribute to neutralization of A(H1N1)pdm09 antigenic variants, thereby limiting the number of possible substitutions that could lead to escape from population immunity. Importance: Influenza A viruses can cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans. Amino acid substitutions in the hemagglutinin protein can result in escape from antibody-mediated neutralization. This allows the virus to reinfect individuals that have acquired immunity to previously circulating strains through infection or vaccination. To date, the vast majority of A(H1N1)pdm09 strains remain antigenically similar to the virus that caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. However, antigenic variants are expected to emerge as a result of increasing population immunity. We show that single amino acid substitutions near the receptor binding site were sufficient to escape from antibodies specific for A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses but not from antibodies elicited in response to infections with seasonal A(H1N1) and A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. This study identified substitutions in A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses that support escape from population immunity but also suggested that the number of potential escape variants is limited by previous exposure to seasonal A(H1N1) viruses.
    Journal of Virology 01/2015; 89(7). DOI:10.1128/JVI.02962-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Animal and human studies have demonstrated the importance of influenza A virus (IAV)-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in heterosubtypic cross-protective immunity. Using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained intermittently from healthy HLA-typed blood donors between 1999 and 2012, we were able to demonstrate that IAV-specific CTLs are long-lived. Intercurrent IAV infections transiently increase the frequency of functionally distinct subsets of IAV-specific CTLs, in particular effector and effector memory T cells. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 01/2015; 212(1). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiv018 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To elucidate the pathogenesis and transmission of influenza virus, the ferret model is typically used. To investigate protective immune responses, the use of inbred mouse strains has proven invaluable. Here, we describe a study with isogenic guinea pigs, which would uniquely combine the advantages of the mouse and ferret models for influenza virus infection. Strain 2 isogenic guinea pigs were inoculated with H1N1pdm09 influenza virus A/Netherlands/602/09 by the intranasal or intratracheal route. Viral replication kinetics were assessed by determining virus titers in nasal swabs and respiratory tissues, which were also used to assess histopathologic changes and the number of infected cells. In all guinea pigs, virus titers peaked in nasal secretions at day 2 after inoculation. Intranasal inoculation resulted in higher virus excretion via the nose and higher virus titers in the nasal turbinates than intratracheal inoculation. After intranasal inoculation, infectious virus was recovered only from nasal epithelium; after intratracheal inoculation, it was recovered also from trachea, lung, and cerebrum. Histopathologic changes corresponded with virus antigen distribution, being largely limited to nasal epithelium for intranasally infected guinea pigs and more widespread in the respiratory tract for intratracheally infected guinea pigs. In summary, isogenic guinea pigs show promise as a model to investigate the role of humoral and cell-mediated immunity to influenza and its effect on virus transmission. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    American Journal Of Pathology 12/2014; 185(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.11.012 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a promising viral vector platform for the development of an H5N1 influenza vaccine. Preclinical assessment of MVA-based H5N1 vaccines showed their immunogenicity and safety in different animal models. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the MVA-haemagglutinin-based H5N1 vaccine MVA-H5-sfMR in healthy individuals. METHODS: In a single-centre, double-blind phase 1/2a study, young volunteers (aged 18-28 years) were randomly assigned with a computer-generated list in equal numbers to one of eight groups and were given one injection or two injections intramuscularly at an interval of 4 weeks of a standard dose (10(8) plaque forming units [pfu]) or a ten times lower dose (10(7) pfu) of the MVA-H5-sfMR (vector encoding the haemagglutinin gene of influenza A/Vietnam/1194/2004 virus [H5N1 subtype]) or MVA-F6-sfMR (empty vector) vaccine. Volunteers and physicians who examined and administered the vaccine were masked to vaccine assignment. Individuals who received the MVA-H5-sfMR vaccine were eligible for a booster immunisation 1 year after the first immunisation. Primary endpoint was safety. Secondary outcome was immunogenicity. The trial is registered with the Dutch Trial Register, number NTR3401. FINDINGS: 79 of 80 individuals who were enrolled completed the study. No serious adverse events were identified. 11 individuals reported severe headache and lightheadedness, erythema nodosum, respiratory illness (accompanied by influenza-like symptoms), sore throat, or injection-site reaction. Most of the volunteers had one or more local (itch, pain, redness, and swelling) and systemic reactions (rise in body temperature, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, chills, malaise, and fatigue) after the first, second, and booster immunisations. Individuals who received the 10(7) dose had fewer systemic reactions. The MVA-H5-sfMR vaccine at 10(8) pfu induced significantly higher antibody responses after one and two immunisations than did 10(7) pfu when assessed with haemagglutination inhibition geometric mean titre at 8 weeks against H5N1 A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (30.2 [SD 3.8] vs 9.2 [2.3] and 108.1 [2.4] vs 15.8 [3.2]). 27 of 39 eligible individuals were enrolled in the booster immunisation study. A single shot of MVA-H5-sfMR 10(8) pfu prime immunisation resulted in higher antibody responses after the booster immunisation than did two shots of MVA-H5-sfMR at the ten times lower dose. INTERPRETATION: The MVA-based H5N1 vaccine was well tolerated and immunogenic and therefore the vaccine candidates arising from the MVA platform hold great promise for rapid development in response to a future influenza pandemic threat. However, the immunogenicity of this vaccine needs to be compared with conventional H5N1 inactivated non-adjuvanted vaccine candidates in head-to-head clinical trials. FUNDING: European Research Council.
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 12/2014; 14(12):1196-207. DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70963-6 · 22.43 Impact Factor
  • Arwen F Altenburg · Guus F Rimmelzwaan · Rory D de Vries ·
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    ABSTRACT: Since inactivated influenza vaccines mainly confer protective immunity by inducing strain-specific antibodies to the viral hemagglutinin, these vaccines only afford protection against infection with antigenically matching influenza virus strains. Due to the continuous emergence of antigenic drift variants of seasonal influenza viruses and the inevitable future emergence of pandemic influenza viruses, there is considerable interest in the development of influenza vaccines that induce broader protective immunity. It has long been recognized that influenza virus-specific CD8(+) T cells directed to epitopes located in the relatively conserved internal proteins can cross-react with various subtypes of influenza A virus. This implies that these CD8(+) T cells, induced by prior influenza virus infections or vaccinations, could afford heterosubtypic immunity. Furthermore, influenza virus-specific CD4(+) T cells have been shown to be important in protection from infection, either via direct cytotoxic effects or indirectly by providing help to B cells and CD8(+) T cells. In the present paper, we review the induction of virus-specific T cell responses by influenza virus infection and the role of virus-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in viral clearance and conferring protection from subsequent infections with homologous or heterologous influenza virus strains. Furthermore, we discuss vector-based vaccination strategies that aim at the induction of a cross-reactive virus-specific T cell response. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Vaccine 12/2014; 33(4). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.11.054 · 3.62 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

17k Citations
1,894.36 Total Impact Points


  • 2000-2015
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Virology
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1994-2013
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • Department of Virology
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • Novartis Vaccines
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
      • Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2010
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Manhattan, New York, United States
  • 2009
    • Princeton University
      • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      Princeton, NJ, United States
  • 2008
    • French National Institute for Agricultural Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2004
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Zoology
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1991
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands