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2021-3-7 19:47:47

Le Sage V, Jones JE, Kormuth KA, Fitzsimmons WJ, N. Pre-existing heterosubtypic immunity provides a barrier to airborne transmission of influenza viruses. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Feb 18;17(2):e1009273
submited by kickingbird at Feb, 19, 2021 8:8 AM from PLoS Pathog. 2021 Feb 18;17(2):e1009273

Human-to-human transmission of influenza viruses is a serious public health threat, yet the precise role of immunity from previous infections on the susceptibility to airborne infection is still unknown. Using the ferret model, we examined the roles of exposure duration and heterosubtypic immunity on influenza transmission. We demonstrate that a 48 hour exposure is sufficient for efficient transmission of H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. To test pre-existing immunity, a gap of 8-12 weeks between primary and secondary infections was imposed to reduce innate responses and ensure robust infection of donor animals with heterosubtypic viruses. We found that pre-existing H3N2 immunity did not significantly block transmission of the 2009 H1N1pandemic (H1N1pdm09) virus to immune animals. Surprisingly, airborne transmission of seasonal H3N2 influenza strains was abrogated in recipient animals with H1N1pdm09 pre-existing immunity. This protection from natural infection with H3N2 virus was independent of neutralizing antibodies. Pre-existing immunity with influenza B virus did not block H3N2 virus transmission, indicating that the protection was likely driven by the adaptive immune response. We demonstrate that pre-existing immunity can impact susceptibility to heterologous influenza virus strains, and implicate a novel correlate of protection that can limit the spread of respiratory pathogens through the air.

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