Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2013

Publication Title

Clinical and Vaccine Immunology - CVI

Abstract

The 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza virus carried a swine-origin hemagglutinin (HA) that was closely related to the HAs of pre-1947 H1N1 viruses but highly divergent from the HAs of recently circulating H1N1 strains. Consequently, prior ex- posure to pH1N1-like viruses was mostly limited to individuals over the age of about 60 years. We related age and associated dif- ferences in immune history to the B cell response to an inactivated monovalent pH1N1 vaccine given intramuscularly to subjects in three age cohorts: 18 to 32 years, 60 to 69 years, and >70 years. The day 0 pH1N1-specific hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and microneutralization (MN) titers were generally higher in the older cohorts, consistent with greater prevaccination exposure to pH1N1-like viruses. Most subjects in each cohort responded well to vaccination, with early formation of circulating virus- specific antibody (Ab)-secreting cells and >4-fold increases in HAI and MN titers. However, the response was strongest in the 18- to 32-year cohort. Circulating levels of HA stalk-reactive Abs were increased after vaccination, especially in the 18- to 32-year cohort, raising the possibility of elevated levels of cross-reactive neutralizing Abs. In the young cohort, an increase in MN activ- ity against the seasonal influenza virus A/Brisbane/59/07 after vaccination was generally associated with an increase in the anti- Brisbane/59/07 HAI titer, suggesting an effect mediated primarily by HA head-reactive rather than stalk-reactive Abs. Our find- ings support recent proposals that immunization with a relatively novel HA favors the induction of Abs against conserved epitopes. They also emphasize the need to clarify how the level of circulating stalk-reactive Abs relates to resistance to influenza.

DOI

10.1128/CVI.00735-12

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