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Characterization of antibody and memory T cell response in H7N9 survivors: A cross-sectional analysis

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  • Characterization of antibody and memory T cell response in H7N9 survivors: A cross-sectional analysis

    Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019 Jun 20. pii: S1198-743X(19)30338-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2019.06.013. [Epub ahead of print]
    Characterization of antibody and memory T cell response in H7N9 survivors: A cross-sectional analysis.

    Ma MJ1, Wang XX2, Wu MN3, Wang XJ4, Bao CJ5, Zhang HJ6, Yang Y7, Xu K5, Wang GL8, Zhao M9, Cheng W2, Chen WJ3, Zhang WH8, Fang LQ8, Liu WJ10, Chen EF11, Cao WC8.
    Author information

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES:

    Despite the importance of immunological memory for protective immunity against viral infection, whether H7N9-specific antibodies and memory T-cell responses remain detectable years after the original infection is unknown.
    METHODS:

    A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the immune memory responses of H7N9 patients who contracted the disease and survived during the 2013-2016 epidemics in China. Sustainability of antibodies and T-cell memory to H7N9 virus were examined. Healthy subjects receiving routine medical examination in physical examination center were recruited as control.
    RESULTS:

    A total of 75 survivors were enrolled and classified into four groups based on the time elapsed from illness onset to specimen collection: three months (n=14), 14 months (n=14), 26 months (n=28), and 36 months (n=19). Approximately 36 months after infection, the geometric mean titers of virus-specific antibodies were significantly lower than titers in patients of three months after infection, but 16 of 19 (84.2%) survivors in the 36-month interval had microneutralization (MN) titer > 40. Despite the overall declining trend, the percentages of virus-specific cytokines-secreting memory CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells remained higher in survivors at nearly all time points in comparison with control subjects. Linear regression analysis showed that severe disease (mean titer ratio 2.77, 95%CI 1.17-6.49) was associated with higher hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titer, and female sex for both HI (1.92, 1.02-3.57) and MN (3.33, 1.26-9.09) antibody, whereas female sex (mean percentage ratio 1.69, 95%CI 1.08-2.63), underlying medical conditions (1.94, 95%CI 1.09-3.46), and lack of antiviral therapy (2.08, 95%CI 1.04-4.17) were predictors for higher T-cell responses.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    Survivors from H7N9 virus infection produced long-term antibodies and memory T-cells responses. Our findings warrant further serological investigation in general and high-risk populations and have important implications for vaccine design and development.
    Copyright 2019 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    KEYWORDS:

    Antibodies; H7N9; Immune Memory; Influenza; Survivors; T-Cells

    PMID: 31229595 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmi.2019.06.013

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