Differential immune imprinting by influenza virus vaccination and infection in nonhuman primates.
Immune memory of a first infection with influenza virus establishes a lasting imprint. Recall of that memory dominates the response to later infections or vaccinations by antigenically drifted strains. Early childhood immunization before infection may leave an imprint with different characteristics. We report here a comparison of imprinting by vaccination and infection in a small cohort of nonhuman primates (NHPs). We assayed serum antibody responses for binding with hemaglutinnins (HAs) both from the infecting or immunizing strain (H3 A/Aichi 02/1968) and from strains representing later H3 antigenic clusters ("forward breadth") and examined the effects of defined HA mutations on serum titers. Initial exposure by infection elicited strong HA-binding and neutralizing serum antibody responses but with little forward breadth; initial vaccination with HA from the same strain elicited a weaker response with little neutralizing activity but considerable breadth of binding, not only for later H3 HAs but also for HA of the 2009 H1 new pandemic virus. Memory imprinted by infection, reflected in the response to two immunizing boosts, was largely restricted (as in humans) to the outward-facing HA surface, the principal region of historical variation. Memory imprinted by immunization showed exposure to more widely distributed epitopes, including sites that have not varied during evolution of the H3 HA but that yield nonneutralizing responses. The mode of initial exposure thus affects both the strength of the response and the breadth of the imprint; design of next-generation vaccines will need to take the differences into account.
McCarthy, KR; Von Holle, TA; Sutherland, LL; Oguin, TH; Sempowski, GD; Harrison, SC; Moody, MA
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