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Publication Detail
Natural T Cell–mediated Protection against Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza. Results of the Flu Watch Cohort Study
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Hayward AC, Wang L, Goonetilleke N, Fragaszy E, Bermingham A, Copas A, Millett E, Nazareth I, Nguyen-Van-Tam J, Watson J, Zambon M, Johnson A, McMichael A
  • Publisher:
    American Thoracic Society
  • Publication date:
    15/06/2015
  • Pagination:
    1422, 1431
  • Journal:
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
  • Volume:
    191
  • Issue:
    12
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    1073-449X
Abstract
We aimed to determine whether T cells contribute to influenza immunity. In a cohort of 1703 unvaccinated volunteers we quantified influenza (H3N2 virus) specific T cells before the 2006/7, 2007/8 and 2008/9 epidemic seasons and the 2009 pandemic. Follow up used serology, symptom reporting and PCR based viral investigation of symptomatic cases. Pre-season T cell memory was low, but detectable, in most participants. T cell responses to nucleoprotein dominated and in those infected with influenza (based on a 4 fold antibody titre rise) protected against PCR confirmed influenza (adjusted odds ratio 0.27 (0.11-0.68) p=0.005, during pandemic (p=0.047) and seasonal periods (p=0.049), and against respiratory illness in those infected with pandemic influenza (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.31 (0.11-0.82) p=0.018). Protection was independent of baseline antibodies. In those who became ill NP-specific T cell responses did not alter duration or severity of symptoms.
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