Cross-subtype immunity against avian influenza in persons recently vaccinated for influenza

Cristiana Gioia, Concetta Castilletti, Massimo Tempestilli, Paola Piacentini, Licia Bordi, Roberta Chiappini, Chiara Agrati, Salvatore Squarcione, Giuseppe Ippolito, Vincenzo Puro, Maria R. Capobianchi, Fabrizio Poccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Avian influenza virus (H5N1) can be transmitted to humans, resulting in a severe or fatal disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immune cross-reactivity between human and avian influenza (H5N1) strains in healthy donors vaccinated for seasonal influenza A (H1N1)/(H3N2). A small frequency of CD4 T cells specific for subtype H5N1 was detected in several persons at baseline, and seasonal vaccine administration enhanced the frequency of such reactive CD4 T cells. We also observed that seasonal vaccination is able to raise neutralizing immunity against influenza (H5N1) in a large number of donors. No correlation between influenza-specific CD4 T cells and humoral responses was observed. N1 may possibly be a target for both cellular and humoral cross-type immunity, but additional experiments are needed to clarify this point. These findings highlight the possibility of boosting cross-type cellular and humoral immunity against highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus subtype H5N1 by seasonal influenza vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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