Publications (201)1138.76 Total impact
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza viruses mutate frequently, necessitating constant updates of vaccine viruses. To establish experimental approaches that may complement the current vaccine strain selection process, we selected antigenic variants from human H1N1 and H3N2 influenza virus libraries possessing random mutations in the globular head of the haemagglutinin protein (which includes the antigenic sites) by incubating them with human and/or ferret convalescent sera to human H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. We also selected antigenic escape variants from human viruses treated with convalescent sera and from mice that had been previously immunized against human influenza viruses. Our pilot studies with past influenza viruses identified escape mutants that were antigenically similar to variants that emerged in nature, establishing the feasibility of our approach. Our studies with contemporary human influenza viruses identified escape mutants before they caused an epidemic in 2014–2015. This approach may aid in the prediction of potential antigenic escape variants and the selection of future vaccine candidates before they become widespread in nature.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current seasonal influenza vaccines require regular updates due to antigenic drift causing loss of effectiveness and therefore providing little or no protection against novel influenza A subtypes. Next generation vaccines capable of eliciting CD8(+) T cell (CTL) mediated cross-protective immunity may offer a long-term alternative strategy. However, measuring pre- and existing levels of CTL cross-protection in humans is confounded by differences in infection histories across individuals. During 2000-2003, H1N2 viruses circulated persistently in the human population for the first time and we hypothesised that the viral nucleoprotein (NP) contained novel CTL epitopes that may have contributed to the survival of the viruses. This study describes the immunogenic NP peptides of H1N1, H2N2 and H3N2 influenza viruses isolated from humans over the past century, 1918-2003, by comparing this historical dataset to reference NP peptides from H1N2 that circulated in humans during 2000-2003. Observed peptides sequences ranged from highly conserved (15%) to highly variable (12%), with variation unrelated to reported immunodominance. No unique NP peptides which were exclusive to the H1N2 viruses were noted. However, the virus had inherited the NP from a recently emerged H3N2 variant containing novel peptides, which may have assisted its persistence. Any advantage due to this novelty was subsequently lost with emergence of a newer H3N2 variant in 2003. Our approach has potential to provide insight into the population context in which influenza viruses emerge, and may help to inform immunogenic peptide selection for CTL-inducing influenza vaccines. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While the functional plasticity of memory CD4(+) T cells has been studied extensively, less is known about this property in memory CD8(+) T cells. Here we report the direct measurement of plasticity by paired daughter analysis of effector and memory OT-I CD8(+) T cells primed in vivo with ovalbumin. Naïve, effector and memory OT-I cells were isolated and activated in single-cell culture then, after the first division, their daughter cells were transferred to new cultures with and without IL-4; expression of IFN-γ and IL-4 mRNAs was measured 5 days later in the resultant subclones. Approximately 40% of clonogenic memory CD8(+) T cells were bipotential in this assay, giving rise to an IL-4(-) subclone in the absence of IL-4 and an IL-4(+) subclone in the presence of IL-4. The frequency of bipotential cells was lower among memory cells than naïve cells but markedly higher than among 8-day effectors. Separation based on high or low expression of CD62L, CD122, CD127 or Ly6C did not identify a phenotypic marker of the bipotential cells. Functional plasticity in memory CD8(+) T-cell populations can therefore reflect modulation at the level of a single memory cell and its progeny. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne is part of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. In 2014 the Centre received a total of 5,374 influenza samples from laboratories primarily in the Asia-Pacific region. Viruses were characterised by their antigenic, genetic and antiviral drug resistance properties. Of the viruses successfully analysed 52% were A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. The majority of these were antigenically and genetically similar to the WHO recommended reference strain for the 2014 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine. Results for A(H3N2) and B/Yamagata viruses suggested that circulating viruses of this subtype and lineage, respectively, had undergone antigenic and/or genetic changes, consistent with the decision by WHO to change recommended strains for the 2015 Southern Hemisphere vaccine. A small number of A(H1N1)pdm09 and B/Victoria viruses had highly reduced inhibition to the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir. The Centre also undertook primary isolation of vaccine candidate viruses directly into eggs. A total of 38 viruses were successfully isolated in eggs, of which 1 (B/Phuket/3073/2013) was included in the 2015 Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The continual threat to global health posed by influenza has led to increased efforts to improve the effectiveness of influenza vaccines for use in epidemics and pandemics. We show in this study that formulation of a low dose of inactivated detergent-split influenza vaccine with a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist-based lipopeptide adjuvant (R4Pam2Cys) provides (i) immediate, antigen-independent immunity mediated by the innate immune system and (ii) significant enhancement of antigen-dependent immunity which exhibits an increased breadth of effector function. Intranasal administration of mice with vaccine formulated with R4Pam2Cys but not vaccine alone provides protection against both homologous and serologically distinct (heterologous) viral strains within a day of administration. Vaccination in the presence of R4Pam2Cys subsequently also induces high levels of systemic IgM, IgG1, and IgG2b antibodies and pulmonary IgA antibodies that inhibit hemagglutination (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) activities of homologous but not heterologous virus. Improved primary virus nucleoprotein (NP)-specific CD8+ T cell responses are also induced by the use of R4Pam2Cys and are associated with robust recall responses to provide heterologous protection. These protective effects are demonstrated in wild-type and antibody-deficient animals but not in those depleted of CD8+ T cells. Using a contact-dependent virus transmission model, we also found that heterologous virus transmission from vaccinated mice to naive mice is significantly reduced. These results demonstrate the potential of adding a TLR2 agonist to an existing seasonal influenza vaccine to improve its utility by inducing immediate short-term nonspecific antiviral protection and also antigen-specific responses to provide homologous and heterologous immunity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance: Both influenza A and B viruses co-circulate in the human population and annual influenza seasons are typically dominated by an influenza A subtype or an influenza B lineage. Surveillance data indicates that the burden of disease is higher in some seasons, yet it is unclear whether this is due to specific virus strains or to other factors, such as cross reactive immunity or clinical definitions of influenza. We directly compared disease and the localised inflammatory response to different seasonal influenza strains, including the 2009 pandemic strain, in healthy naïve ferrets. We have found that disease, as well as the cytokine and chemokine responses, were similar irrespective of the seasonal strain or the location of the infection in the respiratory tract. This suggests that factors other than the immune response to a particular virus (sub)type contribute to the variable impact of influenza infection in a population.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have focused on the molecular regulation of PFP and GZMB expression by activated cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTL s), but little is known about the molecular factors that underpin GZMA expression. In vitro activation of naïve CD8(+) T cells, in the presence of IL-4, enhanced STAT6 dependent GZMA expression and was associated with GATA3 binding and enrichment of transcriptionally permissive histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) across the Gzma gene locus. While GZMA expression by effector influenza A virus-specific CTLs was also associated with a similar permissive epigenetic signature, memory CTL lacked enrichment of permissive histone PTMs at the Gzma locus, although this was restored within recalled secondary effector CTLs. Importantly, GZMA expression by virus-specific CTLs was associated with GATA3 binding at the Gzma locus, and independent of STAT6-mediated signaling. This suggests regulation of GZMA expression is underpinned by differentiation-dependent regulation of chromatin composition at the Gzma locus and that, given GATA3 is key for CTL differentiation in response to infection, GATA3 expression is regulated by a distinct, IL-4 independent, signaling pathway. Overall, this study provides insights into the molecular mechanisms that control transcription of Gzma during virus-induced CD8(+) T-cell differentiation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza is an infectious disease that primarily attacks the respiratory system. Innate immunity provides both a very early defense to influenza virus invasion and an effective control of viral growth. Previous modelling studies of virus-innate immune response interactions have focused on infection with a single virus and, while improving our understanding of viral and immune dynamics, have been unable to effectively evaluate the relative feasibility of different hypothesised mechanisms of antiviral immunity. In recent experiments, we have applied consecutive exposures to different virus strains in a ferret model, and demonstrated that viruses differed in their ability to induce a state of temporary immunity or viral interference capable of modifying the infection kinetics of the subsequent exposure. These results imply that virus-induced early immune responses may be responsible for the observed viral hierarchy. Here we introduce and analyse a family of within-host models of re-infection viral kinetics which allow for different viruses to stimulate the innate immune response to different degrees. The proposed models differ in their hypothesised mechanisms of action of the non-specific innate immune response. We compare these alternative models in terms of their abilities to reproduce the re-exposure data. Our results show that 1) a model with viral control mediated solely by a virus-resistant state, as commonly considered in the literature, is not able to reproduce the observed viral hierarchy; 2) the synchronised and desynchronised behaviour of consecutive virus infections is highly dependent upon the interval between primary virus and challenge virus exposures and is consistent with virus-dependent stimulation of the innate immune response. Our study provides the first mechanistic explanation for the recently observed influenza viral hierarchies and demonstrates the importance of understanding the host response to multi-strain viral infections. Re-exposure experiments provide a new paradigm in which to study the immune response to influenza and its role in viral control.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Epidemiological studies suggest that, following infection with influenza virus, there is a short period during which a host experiences a lower susceptibility to infection with other influenza viruses. This viral interference appears to be independent of any antigenic similarities between the viruses. We used the ferret model of human influenza to systematically investigate viral interference. Methods: Ferrets were first infected then challenged 1-14 days later with pairs of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2), and influenza B viruses circulating in 2009 and 2010. Results: Viral interference was observed when the interval between initiation of primary infection and subsequent challenge was <1 week. This effect was virus specific and occurred between antigenically related and unrelated viruses. Coinfections occurred when 1 or 3 days separated infections. Ongoing shedding from the primary virus infection was associated with viral interference after the secondary challenge. Conclusions: The interval between infections and the sequential combination of viruses were important determinants of viral interference. The influenza viruses in this study appear to have an ordered hierarchy according to their ability to block or delay infection, which may contribute to the dominance of different viruses often seen in an influenza season.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, controversy has arisen regarding the risks and benefits of certain types of gain-of-function (GOF) studies involving avian influenza viruses. In this article, we provide specific examples of how different types of data, including information garnered from GOF studies, have helped to shape the influenza vaccine production process-from selection of candidate vaccine viruses (CVVs) to the manufacture and stockpiling of safe, high-yield prepandemic vaccines for the global community. The article is not written to support a specific pro- or anti-GOF stance but rather to inform the scientific community about factors involved in vaccine virus selection and the preparation of prepandemic influenza vaccines and the impact that some GOF information has had on this process. Copyright © 2014 Schultz-Cherry et al.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms that regulate the rapid transcriptional changes that occur during cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) proliferation and differentiation in response to infection are poorly understood. We have utilized ChIP-seq to assess histone H3 methyl-ation dynamics within naive, effector, and memory virus-specific T cells isolated directly ex vivo after influenza A virus infection. Our results show that within naive T cells, codeposition of the permissive H3K4me3 and repressive H3K27me3 modifications is a signature of gene loci associated with gene tran-scription, replication, and cellular differentiation. Upon differentiation into effector and/or memory CTLs, the majority of these gene loci lose repressive H3K27me3 while retaining the permissive H3K4me3 modification. In contrast, immune-related effector gene promoters within naive T cells lacked the permissive H3K4me3 modification, with acquisition of this modification occurring upon differentiation into effector/memory CTLs. Thus, coordinate tran-scriptional regulation of CTL genes with related func-tions is achieved via distinct epigenetic mechanisms. INTRODUCTION
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background The Cambodian National Influenza Center (NIC) monitored and characterized circulating influenza strains from 2009 to 2011. Methodology/Principal Findings Sentinel and study sites collected nasopharyngeal specimens for diagnostic detection, virus isolation, antigenic characterization, sequencing and antiviral susceptibility analysis from patients who fulfilled case definitions for influenza-like illness, acute lower respiratory infections and event-based surveillance. Each year in Cambodia, influenza viruses were detected mainly from June to November, during the rainy season. Antigenic analysis show that A/H1N1pdm09 isolates belonged to the A/California/7/2009-like group. Circulating A/H3N2 strains were A/Brisbane/10/2007-like in 2009 before drifting to A/Perth/16/2009-like in 2010 and 2011. The Cambodian influenza B isolates from 2009 to 2011 all belonged to the B/Victoria lineage represented by the vaccine strains B/Brisbane/60/2008 and B/Malaysia/2506/2004. Sequences of the M2 gene obtained from representative 2009–2011 A/H3N2 and A/H1N1pdm09 strains all contained the S31N mutation associated with adamantanes resistance except for one A/H1N1pdm09 strain isolated in 2011 that lacked this mutation. No reduction in the susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors was observed among the influenza viruses circulating from 2009 to 2011. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that A/H3N2 strains clustered each year to a distinct group while most A/H1N1pdm09 isolates belonged to the S203T clade. Conclusions/Significance In Cambodia, from 2009 to 2011, influenza activity occurred throughout the year with peak seasonality during the rainy season from June to November. Seasonal influenza epidemics were due to multiple genetically distinct viruses, even though all of the isolates were antigenically similar to the reference vaccine strains. The drug susceptibility profile of Cambodian influenza strains revealed that neuraminidase inhibitors would be the drug of choice for influenza treatment and chemoprophylaxis in Cambodia, as adamantanes are no longer expected to be effective.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives The emergence of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in 2009 saw a significant increase in the therapeutic and prophylactic use of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) to mitigate the impact of this highly transmissible virus. Prior to the pandemic, many countries stockpiled NAIs and developed pandemic plans for the use of antiviral drugs, based on either treatment of high-risk individuals and/or prophylaxis of contacts. However, to date there has been a lack of in vivo models to test the efficacy of treatment or prophylaxis with NAIs, for influenza-infected individuals or exposed contacts, in a household setting. Methods A ferret model of household contact was developed to study the efficacy of different prophylaxis regimens in preventing infection in contact ferrets exposed to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09-infected index ferrets. Results Among the different prophylactic regimens, contact ferrets receiving oseltamivir prophylaxis twice daily showed better outcomes than those receiving oseltamivir once daily. Benefits included a significant delay in the time to secondary infection, lower weight loss and higher activity levels. The treatment of index ferrets at 36 h post-infection did not influence either secondary infection rates or clinical symptoms in exposed contact ferrets. Neither prophylaxis nor treatment prevented infection or reduced the duration of viral shedding, although clinical symptoms did improve in infected animals receiving prophylaxis. Conclusions Different oseltamivir prophylaxis regimens did not prevent infections, but consistently resulted in a reduction in symptoms in infected ferrets. However, oseltamivir prophylaxis failed to reduce viral titres, which warrants further investigation in humans.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ferret is an excellent model for many human infectious diseases including influenza, SARS-CoV, henipavirus and pneumococcal infections. The ferret is also used to study cystic fibrosis and various cancers, as well as reproductive biology and physiology. However, the range of reagents available to measure the ferret immune response is very limited. To address this deficiency, high-throughput real time RT-PCR TaqMan assays were developed to measure the expression of fifteen immune mediators associated with the innate and adaptive immune responses (IFNα, IFNβ, IFNγ, IL1α, IL1β, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL12p40, IL17, Granzyme A, MCP1, TNFα), as well as four endogenous housekeeping genes (ATF4, HPRT, GAPDH, L32). These assays have been optimized to maximize reaction efficiency, reduce the amount of sample required (down to 1ng RNA per real time RT-PCR reaction) and to select the most appropriate housekeeping genes. Using these assays, the expression of each of the tested genes could be detected in ferret lymph node cells stimulated with mitogens or infected with influenza virus in vitro. These new tools will allow a more comprehensive analysis of the ferret immune responses following infection or in other disease states.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distinct lineages of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are harbored by spatially segregated birds, yet significant surveillance gaps exist around the globe. Virtually nothing is known from the Antarctic. Using virus culture, molecular analysis, full genome sequencing, and serology of samples from Adélie penguins in Antarctica, we confirmed infection by H11N2 subtype AIVs. Their genetic segments were distinct from all known contemporary influenza viruses, including South American AIVs, suggesting spatial separation from other lineages. Only in the matrix and polymerase acidic gene phylogenies did the Antarctic sequences form a sister relationship to South American AIVs, whereas distant phylogenetic relationships were evident in all other gene segments. Interestingly, their neuraminidase genes formed a distant relationship to all avian and human influenza lineages, and the polymerase basic 1 and polymerase acidic formed a sister relationship to the equine H3N8 influenza virus lineage that emerged during 1963 and whose avian origins were previously unknown. We also estimated that each gene segment had diverged for 49 to 80 years from its most closely related sequences, highlighting a significant gap in our AIV knowledge in the region. We also show that the receptor binding properties of the H11N2 viruses are predominantly avian and that they were unable to replicate efficiently in experimentally inoculated ferrets, suggesting their continuous evolution in avian hosts. These findings add substantially to our understanding of both the ecology and the intra- and intercontinental movement of Antarctic AIVs and highlight the potential risk of an incursion of highly pathogenic AIVs into this fragile environment.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oseltamivir is relied upon worldwide as the drug of choice for the treatment of human influenza infection. Surveillance for oseltamivir resistance is routinely performed to ensure the ongoing efficacy of oseltamivir against circulating viruses. Since the emergence of the pandemic 2009 A(H1N1) influenza virus (A(H1N1)pdm09), the proportion of A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses that are oseltamivir resistant (OR) has generally been low. However, a cluster of OR A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, encoding the neuraminidase (NA) H275Y oseltamivir resistance mutation, was detected in Australia in 2011 amongst community patients that had not been treated with oseltamivir. Here we combine a competitive mixtures ferret model of influenza infection with a mathematical model to assess the fitness, both within and between hosts, of recent OR A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. In conjunction with data from in vitro analyses of NA expression and activity we demonstrate that contemporary A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are now more capable of acquiring H275Y without compromising their fitness, than earlier A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses circulating in 2009. Furthermore, using reverse engineered viruses we demonstrate that a pair of permissive secondary NA mutations, V241I and N369K, confers robust fitness on recent H275Y A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, which correlated with enhanced surface expression and enzymatic activity of the A(H1N1)pdm09 NA protein. These permissive mutations first emerged in 2010 and are now present in almost all circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. Our findings suggest that recent A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses are now more permissive to the acquisition of H275Y than earlier A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses, increasing the risk that OR A(H1N1)pdm09 will emerge and spread worldwide.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modulation of CD8 coreceptor levels can profoundly affect T-cell sensitivity to antigen. Here we show that the heritable downregulation of CD8 during type 2 polarization of murine CD8(+) effector T cells in vitro and in vivo is associated with CpG methylation of several regions of the Cd8a locus. These epigenetic modifications are maintained long-term in vivo following adoptive transfer. Even after extended type 2 polarization, however, some CD8(low) effector cells respond to interferon-γ by re-expressing CD8 and a type 1 cytokine profile in association with partial Cd8a demethylation. Cd8a methylation signatures in naive, polarized and repolarized cells are distinct from those observed during the initiation, maintenance and silencing of CD8 expression by developing T cells in the thymus. This persistent capacity for epigenetic reprogramming of coreceptor levels on effector CD8(+) T cells enables the heritable tuning of antigen sensitivity in parallel with changes in type 1/type 2 cytokine balance.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza viruses collected from regions of Asia, Africa and Oceania between 2009 and 2012 were tested for their susceptibility to two new neuraminidase inhibitors, peramivir and laninamivir. All viruses tested had normal laninamivir inhibition. However, 3·2% (19/599) of A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses had highly reduced peramivir inhibition (due to H275Y NA mutation) and <1% (6/1238) of influenza B viruses had reduced or highly reduced peramivir inhibition, with single occurrence of variants containing I221T, A245T, K360E, A395E, D432G and a combined G145R+Y142H mutation. These data demonstrate that despite an increase in H275Y variants in 2011, there was no marked change in the frequency of peramivir- or laninamivir-resistant variants following the market release of the drugs in Japan in 2010.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The divergence of the hemagglutinin gene of A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996-lineage H5N1 viruses during 2011 and 2012 (807 new sequences collected through December 31, 2012) was analyzed by phylogenetic and p-distance methods to define new clades using the pre-established nomenclature system. Eight new clade designations were recommended based on division of clade 1.1 (Mekong River Delta), 184.108.40.206 (Indonesia), 2.2.2 (India/Bangladesh), 220.127.116.11 (Egypt/Israel), and 18.104.22.168 (Asia). A simplification to the previously defined criteria, which adds a letter rather than number to the right-most digit of fifth-order clades, was proposed to facilitate this and future updates.
Royal Melbourne HospitalMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Queensland Institute of Medical ResearchBrisbane, Queensland, Australia
University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
- Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute (QCMRI)
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchMelbourne, Victoria, Australia