Paquette, Stéphane G. and Huang, Stephen S.H. and Banner, David and Xu, Luoling and Leόn, Alberto J. and Kelvin, Alyson A. and Kelvin, David J. (2014) Impaired heterologous immunity in aged ferrets during sequential influenza A H1N1 infection. Virology, Vol. 464-465 , p. 177-183. ISSN 0042-6822. eISSN 1096-0341. Article.
The major burden of influenza morbidity resides within the elderly population. The challenge managing influenza-associated illness in the elderly is the decline of immune function, where mechanisms leading to immunological senescence have not been elucidated. To better represent the immune environment, we investigated clinical morbidity and immune function during sequential homologous and heterologous H1N1 influenza infection in an aged ferret model. Our findings demonstrated experimentally that aged ferrets had significant morbidity during monosubtypic heterologous 2° challenge with significant weight loss and respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, increased clinical morbidity was associated with slower and shorter hemagglutinin antibody generation and attenuated type 1 T-cell gene responses in peripheral blood. These results revealed dampened immune activation during sequential influenza infection in aged ferrets. With the presence of an aged model, dissecting clinical morbidity, viral dynamics and immune response during influenza infection will aid the development of future prophylactics such as age specific influenza vaccines.
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