Priming with cold-adapted influenza A does not prevent infection but elicits long-lived protection against supralethal challenge with heterosubtypic virus.
Powell TJ., Strutt T., Reome J., Hollenbaugh JA., Roberts AD., Woodland DL., Swain SL., Dutton RW.
We show in this study several novel features of T cell-based heterosubtypic immunity against the influenza A virus in mice. First, T cell-mediated heterosubtypic protection against lethal challenge can be generated by a very low priming dose. Second, it becomes effective within 5-6 days. Third, it provides protection against a very high dose challenge for >70 days. Also novel is the finding that strong, long-lasting, heterosubtypic protection can be elicited by priming with attenuated cold-adapted strains. We demonstrate that priming does not prevent infection of the lungs following challenge, but leads to earlier clearance of the virus and 100% survival after otherwise lethal challenge. Protection is dependent on CD8 T cells, and we show that CD4 and CD8 T cells reactive to conserved epitopes of the core proteins of the challenge virus are present after priming. Our results suggest that intranasal vaccination with cold-adapted, attenuated live virus has the potential to provide effective emergency protection against emerging influenza strains for several months.