Human Influenza A Virus-Specific CD8+ T-Cell Response Is Long-lived.
ABSTRACT: Animal and human studies have demonstrated the importance of influenza A virus (IAV)-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in heterosubtypic cross-protective immunity. Using peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained intermittently from healthy HLA-typed blood donors between 1999 and 2012, we were able to demonstrate that IAV-specific CTLs are long-lived. Intercurrent IAV infections transiently increase the frequency of functionally distinct subsets of IAV-specific CTLs, in particular effector and effector memory T cells.
Project description:Memory T cells can often respond against pathogens that have evaded neutralizing Abs and are thus key to vaccine-induced protection, yet the signals needed to optimize their responses are unclear. In this study, we identify a dramatic and selective requirement for IL-6 to achieve optimal memory CD4 T cell recall following heterosubtypic influenza A virus (IAV) challenge of mice primed previously with wild-type or attenuated IAV strains. Through analysis of endogenous T cell responses and adoptive transfer of IAV-specific memory T cell populations, we find that without IL-6, CD4+, but not CD8+, secondary effector populations expand less and have blunted function and antiviral impact. Early and direct IL-6 signals to memory CD4 T cells are required to program maximal secondary effector responses at the site of infection during heterosubtypic challenge, indicating a novel role for a costimulatory cytokine in recall responses.
Project description:Wild birds, particularly duck species, are the main reservoir of influenza A virus (IAV) in nature. However, knowledge of IAV infection dynamics in the wild bird reservoir, and the development of immune responses, are essentially absent. Importantly, a detailed understanding of how subtype diversity is generated and maintained is lacking. To address this, 18,679 samples from 7728 Mallard ducks captured between 2002 and 2009 at a single stopover site in Sweden were screened for IAV infections, and the resulting 1081 virus isolates were analyzed for patterns of immunity. We found support for development of homosubtypic hemagglutinin (HA) immunity during the peak of IAV infections in the fall. Moreover, re-infections with the same HA subtype and related prevalent HA subtypes were uncommon, suggesting the development of natural homosubtypic and heterosubtypic immunity (p-value = 0.02). Heterosubtypic immunity followed phylogenetic relatedness of HA subtypes, both at the level of HA clades (p-value = 0.04) and the level of HA groups (p-value = 0.05). In contrast, infection patterns did not support specific immunity for neuraminidase (NA) subtypes. For the H1 and H3 Clades, heterosubtypic immunity showed a clear temporal pattern and we estimated within-clade immunity to last at least 30 days. The strength and duration of heterosubtypic immunity has important implications for transmission dynamics of IAV in the natural reservoir, where immune escape and disruptive selection may increase HA antigenic variation and explain IAV subtype diversity.
Project description:The development of influenza A virus (IAV) vaccines capable of inducing cytotoxic CD8 T cell responses could potentially provide superior, long-term protection against multiple, heterologous strains of IAV. Although prior studies demonstrated the effectiveness of baculovirus-derived virus-like particle (VLP) vaccination in generating Ab-mediated protection, the role that CD8 T cell immunity plays in overall VLP-mediated protection is less-well understood. In this article, we demonstrate that intranasal vaccination of mice with a VLP containing the hemagglutinin and matrix 1 proteins of IAV/PR/8/34 leads to a significant increase in hemagglutinin 533-specific CD8 T cells in the lungs and protection following subsequent homologous challenge with IAV. VLP-mediated protection was significantly reduced by CD8 T cell depletion, indicating a critical role for CD8 T cells in protective immunity. Importantly, our results show that VLP vaccine-induced CD8 T cell-mediated protection is not limited to homologous IAV strains. VLP vaccination leads to an increase in protection following heterosubtypic challenge with a strain of IAV that avoids vaccine-induced neutralizing Abs but contains conserved, immunodominant CD8 T cell epitopes. Overall, our results demonstrate the ability of influenza protein-containing VLPs to prime IAV-specific CD8 T cell responses that contribute to protection from homo- and heterosubtypic IAV infections. These results further suggest that vaccination strategies focused on the development of cross-protective CD8 T cell responses may contribute to the development of "universal" IAV vaccines.
Project description:Background:Influenza A virus (IAV) vaccines offer little protection from mismatched viruses with antigenically distant hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins. We sought to determine if a cationic lipid/DNA complex (CLDC) adjuvant could induce heterosubtypic protection if added to a whole inactivated IAV vaccine (WIV). Methods:Adult rhesus macaques (RMs) were vaccinated and at 2 weeks boosted with either an H1N1-WIV or an H3N2-WIV, with and without CLDC adjuvant. Four weeks postboost, animals were challenged with an H1N1 IAV matched to the H1N1-WIV vaccine. Results:After challenge, viral RNA (vRNA) levels in the trachea of control RMs and RMs vaccinated with the unadjuvanted H1 or H3 WIV vaccines were similar. However, vRNA levels in the trachea of both the H1-WIV/CLDC- and the H3-WIV/CLDC-vaccinated RMs (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively) were significantly lower than in unvaccinated control RMs. Heterosubtypic protection in H3-WIV/CLDC RMs was associated with significantly higher levels of nucleoprotein (NP) and matrix-1-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies (P < 0.05) and NP-specific nonneutralizing antibody-dependent natural killer cell activation (P < 0.01) compared with unprotected H3-WIV RMs. Conclusions:Addition of the CLDC adjuvant to a simple WIV elicited immunity to conserved virus structural proteins in RMs that correlate with protection from uncontrolled virus replication after heterosubtypic influenza virus challenge.
Project description:Lung-resident memory CD8 T cells (TRM) induced by influenza A virus (IAV) that are pivotal for providing subtype-transcending protection against IAV infection (heterosubtypic immunity) are not maintained long term, causing gradual loss of protection. The short-lived nature of lung TRM contrasts sharply with long-term maintenance of TRM induced by localized infections in the skin and in other tissues. We show that the decline in lung TRM is determined by an imbalance between apoptosis and lung recruitment and conversion to TRM of circulating memory cells. We show that circulating effector memory cells (TEM) rather than central memory cells (TCM) are the precursors for conversion to lung TRM Time-dependent changes in expression of genes critical for lymphocyte trafficking and TRM differentiation, in concert with enrichment of TCM, diminish the capacity of circulating memory CD8 T cells to form TRM with time, explaining why IAV-induced TRM are not stably maintained. Systemic booster immunization, through increasing the number of circulating TEM, increases lung TRM, providing a potential new avenue to enhance IAV vaccines.
Project description:Despite extensive research, influenza A virus (IAV) remains a major cause of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare expenditure. Emerging pandemics from highly pathogenic IAV strains, such as H5N1 and pandemic H1N1, highlight the need for universal, cross-protective vaccines. Current vaccine formulations generate strain-specific neutralizing antibodies primarily against the outer coat proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. In contrast to these highly mutable proteins, internal proteins of IAV are more conserved and are a favorable target for developing vaccines that induce strong T cell responses in addition to humoral immunity. Here, we found that intranasal administration with a single dose of CpG and inactivated x31 (H3N2) reduced viral titers and partially protected mice from a heterosubtypic challenge with a lethal dose of PR8 (H1N1). Early after immunization, vaccinated mice showed increased innate immune activation with high levels of MHCII and CD86 expression on dendritic cells in both draining lymph nodes and lungs. Three days after immunization, CD4 and CD8 cells in the lung upregulated CD69, suggesting that activated lymphocytes are present at the site of vaccine administration. The ensuing effector Th1 responses were capable of producing multiple cytokines and were present at least 30 days after immunization. Furthermore, functional memory responses were observed, as antigen-specific IFN-γ(+) and GrB(+) cells were detected early after lethal infection. Together, this work provides evidence for using pattern recognition receptor agonists as a mucosal vaccine platform for inducing robust T cell responses capable of protecting against heterologous IAV challenges.
Project description:Extra-epitopic amino acid residues affect recognition of human influenza A viruses (IAVs) by CD8+ T-lymphocytes (CTLs) specific for the highly conserved HLA-A*0201 restricted M158-66 epitope located in the matrix 1 (M1) protein. These residues are absent in the M1 protein of the 2009-pandemic IAV (H1N1pdm09). Consequently, stimulation with M1 protein of H1N1pdm09 IAV resulted in stronger activation and lytic activity of M158-66-specific CTLs than stimulation with seasonal H3N2 IAVs. During >6 years of circulation in the human population, descendants of the H1N1pdm09 virus had accumulated 4 other amino acid substitutions. However, these did not affect M158-66-specific CTL activation.
Project description:The recent emergence of a novel H7N9 influenza A virus (IAV) causing severe human infections in China raises concerns about a possible pandemic. The lack of pre-existing neutralizing antibodies in the broader population highlights the potential protective role of IAV-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) memory specific for epitopes conserved between H7N9 and previously encountered IAVs. In the present study, the heterosubtypic immunity generated by prior H9N2 or H1N1 infections significantly, but variably, reduced morbidity and mortality, pulmonary virus load and time to clearance in mice challenged with the H7N9 virus. In all cases, the recall of established CTL memory was characterized by earlier, greater airway infiltration of effectors targeting the conserved or cross-reactive H7N9 IAV peptides; though, depending on the priming IAV, each case was accompanied by distinct CTL epitope immunodominance hierarchies for the prominent K(b)PB(1703, D(b)PA(224), and D(b)NP(366) epitopes. While the presence of conserved, variable, or cross-reactive epitopes between the priming H9N2 and H1N1 and the challenge H7N9 IAVs clearly influenced any change in the immunodominance hierarchy, the changing patterns were not tied solely to epitope conservation. Furthermore, the total size of the IAV-specific memory CTL pool after priming was a better predictor of favorable outcomes than the extent of epitope conservation or secondary CTL expansion. Modifying the size of the memory CTL pool significantly altered its subsequent protective efficacy on disease severity or virus clearance, confirming the important role of heterologous priming. These findings establish that both the protective efficacy of heterosubtypic immunity and CTL immunodominance hierarchies are reflective of the immunological history of the host, a finding that has implications for understanding human CTL responses and the rational design of CTL-mediated vaccines.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The inability of seasonal influenza vaccines to effectively protect against infection with antigenically drifted viruses or newly emerging pandemic viruses underlines the need for development of cross-reactive influenza vaccines that induce immunity against a variety of virus subtypes. Therefore, potential cross-protective vaccines, e.g., whole inactivated virus (WIV) vaccine, that can target conserved internal antigens such as the nucleoprotein (NP) and/or matrix protein (M1) need to be explored. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the current study we show that a WIV vaccine, through induction of cross-protective cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), protects mice from heterosubtypic infection. This protection was abrogated after depletion of CD8+ cells in vaccinated mice, indicating that CTLs were the primary mediators of protection. Previously, we have shown that different procedures used for virus inactivation influence optimal activation of CTLs by WIV, most likely by affecting the membrane fusion properties of the virus. Specifically, inactivation with formalin (FA) severely compromises fusion activity of the virus, while inactivation with ?-propiolactone (BPL) preserves fusion activity. Here, we demonstrate that vaccination of mice with BPL-inactivated H5N1 WIV vaccine induces solid protection from lethal heterosubtypic H1N1 challenge. By contrast, vaccination with FA-inactivated WIV, while preventing death after lethal challenge, failed to protect against development of disease and severe body weight loss. Vaccination with BPL-inactivated WIV, compared to FA-inactivated WIV, induced higher levels of specific CD8+ T cells in blood, spleen and lungs, and a higher production of granzyme B in the lungs upon H1N1 virus challenge. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The results underline the potential use of WIV as a cross-protective influenza vaccine candidate. However, careful choice of the virus inactivation procedure is important to retain membrane fusion activity and full immunogenicity of the vaccine.
Project description:Memory CD8(+)T lymphocytes (CTLs) specific for antigenic peptides derived from internal viral proteins confer broad protection against distinct strains of influenza A virus (IAV). However, immune efficacy can be undermined by the emergence of escape mutants. To determine how T-cell receptor (TCR) composition relates to IAV epitope variability, we used ex vivo peptide-HLA tetramer enrichment and single-cell multiplex analysis to compare TCRs targeted to the largely conserved HLA-A*0201-M158and the hypervariable HLA-B*3501-NP418antigens. The TCRαβs for HLA-B*3501-NP418 (+)CTLs varied among individuals and across IAV strains, indicating that a range of mutated peptides will prime different NP418-specific CTL sets. Conversely, a dominant public TRAV27/TRBV19(+)TCRαβ was selected in HLA-A*0201(+)donors responding to M158 This public TCR cross-recognized naturally occurring M158variants complexed with HLA-A*0201. Ternary structures showed that induced-fit molecular mimicry underpins TRAV27/TRBV19(+)TCR specificity for the WT and mutant M158peptides, suggesting the possibility of universal CTL immunity in HLA-A*0201(+)individuals. Combined with the high population frequency of HLA-A*0201, these data potentially explain the relative conservation of M158 Moreover, our results suggest that vaccination strategies aimed at generating broad protection should incorporate variant peptides to elicit cross-reactive responses against other specificities, especially those that may be relatively infrequent among IAV-primed memory CTLs.