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Sequential infection or immunization of ferrets with a series of influenza A (H3N2) strains (Report to the Medical Research Council's Sub-Committee on Influenza Vaccines (CDVIP/IV))

  • C. W. Potter (a1), R. Jennings (a1), M. J. Ali (a1), J. M. Wood (a2), U. Dunleavy (a2) and D. A. J. Tyrrell (a3)...

Summary

Previous studies of boys at Christ's Hospital school have indicated that annual immunization with influenza virus vaccines did not significantly reduce the total incidence of influenza infection compared to unimmunized subjects. In view of the implications of this result, a similar study was conducted in ferrets to clarify these findings. Groups of ferrets were immunized or infected with a series of influenza A (H3N2) viruses over an 18-month period, and the immunity to subsequent live virus challenge was measured after each virus or vaccine exposure. The results indicated that live virus infection gave a more solid immunity than immunization with inactivated vaccine; and the serum haemagglutination-inhibiting antibody response was greater following immunization than following infection. In addition, differences in immunity could not be explained by measurements of cross-reacting and specific antibody, since the incidence of these antibodies was similar in both infected and immunized animals. The results do not suggest an explanation for the different levels of immunity induced following infection or immunization or the results obtained from the Christ's Hospital study. However, the relative contribution of various immune responses to virus or virus antigen is discussed, and it is suggested that the difference in immunity may lie in the ability of live virus infection to stimulate local antibody.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Correspondence should be addressed to Professor C. W. Potter at the above address.

References

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Sequential infection or immunization of ferrets with a series of influenza A (H3N2) strains (Report to the Medical Research Council's Sub-Committee on Influenza Vaccines (CDVIP/IV))

  • C. W. Potter (a1), R. Jennings (a1), M. J. Ali (a1), J. M. Wood (a2), U. Dunleavy (a2) and D. A. J. Tyrrell (a3)...

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