Sensitization of mice with wild-type and cold-adapted influenza virus variants: Immune response to two H1N1 and H3N2 viruses

San-Ju Tao, Nai Ki Mak, Gordon L. Ada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Two A strain influenza viruses, A/Hong Kong/123/77 (AHK/123/77) (H1N1) and A/Queensland/6/72 (A/Qld/6/72) (H3N2), and the two cold-adapted reassortants which possess the surface antigens of these strains (CR35 and CR6, respectively) were tested for their ability both to induce primary cytotoxic T-cell (Tc cell) responses in mice and to sensitize mice for a second Tc cell response when challenged with a distantly related A strain virus, A/Shearwater/72 (H6N5). After intranasal inoculation, A/Qld/6/72 replicated to higher titers in the lung (1 to 2 log10 50% egg infective doses) than did A/HK/123/77 or either of the reassortants. A/Qld/6/72 induced higher Tc cell responses in the lung than did CR6, and both were more effective than either A/HK/123/77 or CR35 in this respect. When similar doses (10 or 103 hemagglutinin units) of each virus were injected intravenously into mice and the spleens were tested for Tc cell activity 6 days later, both A/Qld/6/72 and CR6 were ca. 100-fold better at inducing a primary Tc cell response than A/HK/123/77 or CR35. In contrast, the H1N1 and H3N2 viruses gave rather similar anti-hemagglutinin antibody titers (after intravenous injection) and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions (after subcutaneous injection). If mice were primed with a low dose of these viruses (104 50% egg infective doses intranasally), A/Qld/6/72 and CR6 were more effective than A/HK/123/77 or CR35 at sensitizing for a secondary Tc cell response when challenged with A/Shearwater/72, but if larger doses were given either intranasally (106 50% egg infective doses) or intravenously (10 to 103 hemagglutinin units), all viruses sensitized the mice equally well, despite the fact the A/Shearwater/72 gives a poor primary Tc cell response in mice. Thus, the viral glycoprotein antigens can be important in determining the immunogenicity of the virus and, particularly, the class I antigen-restricted Tc cell response of the host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-650
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1985

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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