[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the first case of human infection in March 2013, continued reports of H7N9 cases highlight a potential pandemic threat. Highly immunogenic vaccines to this virus are urgently needed to protect vulnerable populations who lack protective immunity. In this study, an egg- and adjuvant-independent adenoviral vector-based, hemagglutinin H7 subtype influenza vaccine (HAd-H7HA) demonstrated enhanced cell-mediated immunity as well as serum antibody responses in a mouse model. Most importantly, this vaccine provided complete protection against homologous A/(H7N9) viral challenge suggesting its potential utility as a pandemic vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of pre-existing immunity for influenza vaccine responses is of great importance for public health, and thus has been studied in various contexts, yet the impact of differential priming on vaccine responses in the midst of antigenic drift remains to be elucidated. To address this with antigenically related viruses, mice were first primed by either infection or immunization with A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) virus, then immunized with whole-inactivated A/Fort Monmouth/1/47 (FM1) virus. The ensuing vaccine responses and the protective efficacy of FM1 were superior in PR8 infection-primed mice compared to PR8 immunization-primed or unprimed mice. Increased FM1-specific Ab responses of PR8 infection-primed mice also broadened cross-reactivity against contemporary as well as antigenically more drifted strains. Further, prior infection heightened the protective efficacy of antigenically distant strains, such as A/Brisbane/59/2006 infection followed by immunization with split pandemic H1N1 vaccine (A/California/07/2009). Therefore, influenza infection is a significant priming event that intensifies future vaccine responses against drift strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A unique feature of influenza A virus (IAV) life cycle is replication of the viral genome in the host cell nucleus. The nuclear import of IAV genome is an indispensable step in establishing virus infection. IAV nucleoprotein (NP) is known to mediate the nuclear import of viral genome via its nuclear localization signals. Here, we demonstrate that cellular heat shock protein 40 (Hsp40/DnaJB1) facilitates the nuclear import of incoming IAV viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs) and is important for efficient IAV replication. Hsp40 was found to interact with NP component of IAV RNPs during early stages of infection. This interaction is mediated by the J domain of Hsp40 and N-terminal region of NP. Drug or RNAi mediated inhibition of Hsp40 resulted in reduced nuclear import of IAV RNPs, diminished viral polymerase function and attenuates overall viral replication. Hsp40 was also found to be required for efficient association between NP and importin alpha, which is crucial for IAV RNP nuclear translocation. These studies demonstrate an important role for cellular chaperone Hsp40/DnaJB1 in influenza A virus life cycle by assisting nuclear trafficking of viral ribonucleoproteins.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza viruses are pathogens of significant public health importance. The influence of nutritional status on severity of disease has become increasingly recognized. In particular, high dietary salt intake has been linked to cardiovascular disease, but the effects on infectious diseases have not been studied. This study investigated the impact on influenza-induced morbidity and mortality in mice fed isocaloric diets containing 10-fold increments of sodium by altering the salt levels. Following infection, despite higher levels of IFN-gamma cytokine in the lung as well as virus-neutralizing antibody in the serum of mice fed the lowest salt level, the amounts of dietary salt intake had no substantial impact on the disease severity or the ability to respond immunologically to the infection.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Viral immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Influenza disproportionately impacts older adults while current vaccines have reduced effectiveness in the older population.
Methods. We conducted a comprehensive evaluation of cellular and humoral immune responses of adults aged
50 years and older to the 2008–2009 seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and assessed factors influencing vaccine response.
Results. Vaccination increased hemagglutination inhibition and neutralizing antibody; however, 66.3% of subjects did not reach hemagglutination inhibition titers ≥ 40 for H1N1, compared with 22.5% for H3N2. Increasing age had a minor negative impact on antibody responses, whereas prevaccination titers were the best predictors of postvaccination antibody levels. Preexisting memory B cells declined with age, especially for H3N2. However, older adults still demonstrated a significant increase in antigen-specific IgG+ and IgA+ memory B cells postvaccination. Despite reduced frequency of preexisting memory B cells associated with advanced age, fold-rise in memory B cell frequency in subjects 60+ was comparable to subjects age 50–59.
Conclusions. Older adults mounted statistically significant humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, but
many failed to reach hemagglutination inhibition titers ≥40, especially for H1N1. Although age had a modest negative effect on vaccine responses, prevaccination titers were the best predictor of postvaccination antibody levels, irrespective of age.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Open Forum Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NLR protein, NLRC5, is an important regulator of MHC I gene expression, however, the role of NLRC5 in other innate immune responses is less well defined. In the present study, we report that NLRC5 binds RIG-I and that this interaction is critical for robust antiviral responses against influenza virus. Overexpression of NLRC5 in the human lung epithelial cell line, A549, and normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells resulted in impaired replication of influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 virus (PR8) and enhanced IFN-β expression. Influenza virus leads to induction of IFN-β that drives RIG-I and NLRC5 expression in host cells. Our results suggest that NLRC5 extends and stabilizes influenza virus-induced RIG-I expression and delays expression of the viral inhibitor protein NS1. We show that NS1 binds to NLRC5 to suppress its function. Interaction domain mapping revealed that NLRC5 interacts with RIG-I via its N-terminal death domain and that NLRC5 enhanced antiviral activity in a LRR-domain-independent manner. Taken together, our findings identify a novel role for NLRC5 in RIG-I-mediated antiviral host responses against influenza virus infection, distinguished from the role of NLRC5 in MHC class I gene regulation.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Pattern recognition receptors (PRR) sense certain molecular patterns uniquely expressed by pathogens. Retinoic-acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a cytosolic PRR that senses viral nucleic acids and induces innate immune activation and secretion of type I interferons (IFNs). Here, using influenza vaccine antigens, we investigated the consequences of activating the RIG-I pathway for antigen-specific adaptive immune responses. We found that mice immunized with influenza vaccine antigens coadministered with 5'ppp-double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), a RIG-I ligand, developed robust levels of hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies, enhanced germinal center reaction, and T follicular helper cell responses. In addition, RIG-I activation enhanced antibody affinity maturation and plasma cell responses in the draining lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow and conferred protective immunity against virus challenge. Importantly, activation of the RIG-I pathway was able to reduce the antigen requirement by 10- to 100-fold in inducing optimal influenza-specific cellular and humoral responses, including protective immunity. The effects induced by 5'ppp-dsRNA were significantly dependent on type I IFN and IPS-1 (an adapter protein downstream of the RIG-I pathway) signaling but were independent of the MyD88- and TLR3-mediated pathways. Our results show that activation of the RIG-I-like receptor pathway programs the innate immunity to achieve qualitatively and quantitatively enhanced protective cellular adaptive immune responses even at low antigen doses, and this indicates the potential utility of RIG-I ligands as molecular adjuvants for viral vaccines.
The recently discovered RNA helicase family of RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) is a critical component of host defense mechanisms responsible for detecting viruses and triggering innate antiviral cytokines that help control viral replication and dissemination. In this study, we show that the RLR pathway can be effectively exploited to enhance adaptive immunity and protective immune memory against viral infection. Our results show that activation of the RIG-I pathway along with influenza vaccination programs the innate immunity to induce qualitatively and quantitatively superior protective adaptive immunity against pandemic influenza viruses. More importantly, RIG-I activation at the time of vaccination allows induction of robust adaptive responses even at low vaccine antigen doses. These results highlight the potential utility of exploiting the RIG-I pathway to enhance viral-vaccine-specific immunity and have broader implications for designing better vaccines in general.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza A virus (IAV), similar to other viruses, exploits the machinery of human host cells for its survival and replication. We identified α-actinin-4, a host cytoskeletal protein, as an interacting partner of IAV nucleoprotein (NP). We confirmed this interaction using co-immunoprecipitation studies, first in a coupled in vitro transcription-translation assay and then in cells either transiently co-expressing the two proteins or infected with whole IAV. Importantly, the NP-actinin-4 interaction was observed in several IAV subtypes, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus. Moreover, immunofluorescence studies revealed that both NP and actinin-4 co-localized largely around the nucleus and also in the cytoplasmic region of virus-infected A549 cells. Silencing of actinin-4 expression resulted in not only a significant decrease in NP, M2 and NS1 viral protein expression, but also a reduction of both NP mRNA and viral RNA levels, as well as viral titers, 24 h post-infection with IAV, suggesting that actinin-4 was critical for viral replication. Furthermore, actinin-4 depletion reduced the amount of NP localized in the nucleus. Treatment of infected cells with wortmannin, a known inhibitor of actinin-4, led to a decrease in NP mRNA levels and also caused the nuclear retention of NP, further strengthening our previous observations. Taken together, the results of the present study indicate that actinin-4, a novel interacting partner of IAV NP, plays a crucial role in viral replication and this interaction may participate in nuclear localization of NP and/or viral ribonucleoproteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Concerns about influenza vaccine effectiveness in older adults and the role of influenza strains encountered earlier in life led to this study.
Antibody responses against antigens in the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine at 21 days post vaccination were analyzed in 264 individuals aged 50-80 years. At Days 0 and 21, sera were tested for hemagglutination-inhibition titers against these vaccine strains and at Day 0 against a panel of 15 historical seasonal strains.:
The proportions of participants with seroprotective titers ≥1:40 to the vaccine strains at Days 0 and 21, respectively, were 37% and 66% for A(H1N1) and 28% and 63% for A(H3N2). An increasing number of responses ≥1:40 against historical strains was associated with seroprotective responses after vaccination among participants with a titer<1:40 at Day 0 for A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) vaccine strains (P<0.01). In multivariable regression analyses among those with Day 0 titer<1:40, after controlling for age, sex, race, site and diabetes, Day 21 titers ≥ 1:40 for the vaccine A strains were significantly more likely as the number of seroprotective responses against historical strains increased (A(H1N1) odds ratio [OR] = 1.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09-1.82 and A(H3N2) OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.07-1.62). The likelihood of seroconversion was significantly higher with an increasing number of responses to historical strains for A(H3N2) only (OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.01-1.52). Seroconversion was significantly less likely as Day 0 vaccine strain titers increased.
Seroprotective titers after influenza vaccination increased as the number of responses to historical strains increased.
Preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reports of human infections with highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses in many countries in Asia and Africa with varying case fatality rates highlight the pandemic potential of these viruses. In order to contain a rapidly spreading influenza virus in a pandemic scenario, a vaccine which can induce rapid and robust immune responses, preferably in a single dose, is necessary. Murine beta-defensin 2 (Mbd2), a small molecular weight protein expressed by epithelial cells, has been shown to enhance antigen-specific immune responses by recruiting and activating professional antigen presenting cells to the site of vaccination. This study assessed the potential of Mbd2 to enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a human adenovirus (HAd)-based vaccine expressing the hemagglutinin (HA) and nucleoprotein (NP) [HAd-HA-NP] of an H5N1 influenza virus. A single inoculation of mice with both HAd-HA-NP and a HAd vector expressing Murine β-defensin 2 (HAd-Mbd2) resulted in significantly higher levels of both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses compared to the groups vaccinated only with HAd-HA-NP. These responses were evident even at Day 7 post-immunization. Furthermore, the HAd-HA-NP+HAd-Mbd2-immunized group receiving the lowest vector dose (2×10(7)+1×10(7)) was completely protected against an rgH5N1 virus challenge on Day 7 post-vaccination. These results highlight the potential of Mbd2 as a genetic adjuvant in inducing rapid and robust immune responses to a HAd-based vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathological studies on fatal cases caused by 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1 virus (2009 pH1N1) reported extensive diffuse alveolar damage and virus infection predominantly in the lung parenchyma. However, the host immune response after severe 2009 pH1N1 infection is poorly understood. Herein, we investigated viral load, the immune response, and apoptosis in lung tissues from 50 fatal cases with 2009 pH1N1 virus infection. The results suggested that 7 of the 27 cytokines/chemokines showed remarkably high expression, including IL-1 receptor antagonist protein, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein 1-β, and interferon-inducible protein-10 in lung tissues of 2009 pH1N1 fatal cases. Viral load, which showed the highest level on day 7 of illness onset and persisted until day 17 of illness, was positively correlated with mRNA levels of IL-1 receptor antagonist protein, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, macrophage inflammatory protein 1-β, interferon-inducible protein-10, and regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted. Apoptosis was evident in lung tissues stained by the TUNEL assay. Decreased Fas and elevated FasL mRNA levels were present in lung tissues, and cleaved caspase-3 was frequently seen in pneumocytes, submucosal glands, and lymphoid tissues. The pathogenesis of the 2009 pH1N1 virus infection is associated with viral replication and production of proinflammatory mediators. FasL and caspase-3 are involved in the pathway of 2009 pH1N1 virus-induced apoptosis in lung tissues, and the disequilibrium between the Fas and FasL level in lung tissues could contribute to delayed clearance of the virus and subsequent pathological damages.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · American Journal Of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to resist infections and respond to vaccinations is greatly reduced in the older adult population owing to a general decline in innate and adaptive immune functions with aging. Over the years several strategies such as increasing the vaccine dose, number of immunizations and using adjuvants have been evaluated to improve the immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines in the older adult population. Murine ß-defensin 2 (Mbd2) has been shown to function as a molecular adjuvant by recruiting and activating immature dendritic cells (DCs), professional antigen-presenting cells (APC), to the site of the immunization. In this study, we evaluated the potential utility of Mbd2 to enhance the efficacy of an adenoviral vector-based H5N1 influenza vaccine expressing hemagglutinin (HA) and nucleoprotein (NP) (HAd-HA-NP) in an aged mouse model. Our results indicated that immunostimulation with an adenoviral vector expressing Mbd2 (HAd-Mbd2) activated DCs and significantly enhanced the humoral and cellular immune responses induced by HAd-HA-NP. Furthermore, immunostimulation with HAd-Mbd2 followed by immunization with HAd-HA-NP resulted in significantly lower virus titers in the lungs following challenge with a H5N1 influenza virus compared to the group immunized with HAd-HA-NP without immunostimulation. Overall, our results highlight the potential utility of Mbd2 as a molecular adjuvant to enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of vaccines for the elderly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recurrent outbreaks of H5, H7 and H9 avian influenza viruses in domestic poultry accompanied by their occasional transmission to humans have highlighted the public health threat posed by these viruses. Newer vaccine approaches for pandemic preparedness against these viruses are needed, given the limitations of vaccines currently approved for H5N1 viruses in terms of their production timelines and the ability to induce protective immune responses in the absence of adjuvants. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of an adenovirus (AdV)-based multivalent vaccine approach for pandemic preparedness against H5, H7 and H9 avian influenza viruses in a mouse model. Replication-defective AdV vectors expressing hemagglutinin (HA) from different subtypes and nucleoprotein (NP) from one subtype induced high levels of humoral and cellular immune responses and conferred protection against virus replication following challenge with H5, H7 and H9 avian influenza virus subtypes. Inclusion of HA from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus in the vaccine formulation further broadened the vaccine coverage. Significantly high levels of HA stalk-specific antibodies were observed following immunization with the multivalent vaccine. Inclusion of NP into the multivalent HA vaccine formulation resulted in the induction of CD8 T cell responses. These results suggest that a multivalent vaccine strategy may provide reasonable protection in the event of a pandemic caused by H5, H7, or H9 avian influenza virus before a strain-matched vaccine can be produced.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is currently unclear at which point during viral replication that RNA genomes are first recognized as nonself by the immune system. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Weber et al. show that incoming nucleocapsid-bound genomes are sufficient to bind and activate innate immune sensors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apoptosis induction is an antiviral host response, however, influenza A virus (IAV) infection promotes host cell death. The nucleoprotein (NP) of IAV is known to contribute to viral pathogenesis, but its role in virus-induced host cell death was hitherto unknown. We observed that NP contributes to IAV infection induced cell death and heterologous expression of NP alone can induce apoptosis in human airway epithelial cells. The apoptotic effect of IAV NP was significant when compared with other known proapoptotic proteins of IAV. The cell death induced by IAV NP was executed through the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. We screened host cellular factors for those that may be targeted by NP for inducing apoptosis and identified human antiapoptotic protein Clusterin (CLU) as a novel interacting partner. The interaction between IAV NP and CLU was highly conserved and mediated through β-chain of the CLU protein. Also CLU was found to interact specifically with IAV NP and not with any other known apoptosis modulatory protein of IAV. CLU prevents induction of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway by binding to Bax and inhibiting its movement into the mitochondria. We found that the expression of IAV NP reduced the association between CLU and Bax in mammalian cells. Further, we observed that CLU overexpression attenuated NP-induced cell death and had a negative effect on IAV replication. Collectively, these findings indicate a new function for IAV NP in inducing host cell death and suggest a role for the host antiapoptotic protein CLU in this process.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Cell Death & Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Protein energy malnutrition (PEM), a common cause of secondary immune deficiency in children, is associated with an increased risk of infections. Very few studies have addressed the relevance of PEM as a risk factor for influenza.
We investigated the influence of PEM on susceptibility to, and immune responses following, influenza virus infection using isocaloric diets providing either adequate protein (AP; 18%) or very low protein (VLP; 2%) in a mouse model.
We found that mice maintained on the VLP diet, when compared to mice fed with the AP diet, exhibited more severe disease following influenza infection based on virus persistence, trafficking of inflammatory cell types to the lung tissue, and virus-induced mortality. Furthermore, groups of mice maintained on the VLP diet showed significantly lower virus-specific antibody response and a reduction in influenza nuclear protein-specific CD8(+) T cells compared with mice fed on the AP diet. Importantly, switching diets for the group maintained on the VLP diet to the AP diet improved virus clearance, as well as protective immunity to viral challenge.
Our results highlight the impact of protein energy on immunity to influenza infection and suggest that balanced protein energy replenishment may be one strategy to boost immunity against influenza viral infections.
Preview · Article · Sep 2012 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases