Particules du virus de la grippe aviaire H5N1

28/05/09 Guus F. Rimmelzwaan (Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands)

Guus F. Rimmelzwaan (Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands)

27 May 2009

INRA Jouy-en-Josas

"Annual flu-shot prevents the induction of protective immunity against influenza A/H5N1 virus"

"Annual flu-shot prevents the induction of protective immunity against influenza A/H5N1 virus"

Guus F. Rimmelzwaan is one of the leader in the field of Influenza viruses.

For more than ten years, G.F. Rimmelzwaan has analysed the human influenza virus specific CTL response in great details and studied virus/host interaction. He found that T cells play an important role in the immunity against influenza virus infections, in particular those caused by heterosubtypic influenza virus strains, including H5N1 strain. He has established and used a number of in vivo models in his laboratory, including mice, ferrets and macaques.


Annual vaccination against seasonal influenza viruses is recommended for certain individuals that have a high risk for complications resulting from infection with these viruses. Recently it was recommended in a number of countries including the USA to vaccinate all healthy children between 6 and 59 months of age as well. However, vaccination of immunologically naïve subjects against seasonal influenza may prevent the induction of heterosubtypic immunity against potentially pandemic strains of an alternative subtype, otherwise induced by infection with the seasonal strains.

We showed in a mouse model that the induction of protective heterosubtypic immunity by infection with a human A/H3N2 influenza virus is prevented by effective vaccination against the A/H3N2 strain. Consequently, vaccinated mice were no longer protected against a lethal infection with an avian A/H5N1 influenza virus. As a result H3N2-vaccinated mice continued to loose body weight after A/H5N1 infection, had 100-fold higher lung virus titres seven days post infection and more severe histopathological changes than mice that were not protected by vaccination against A/H3N2 influenza. The lack of protection correlated with reduced virus-specific CD8+ T cell responses after A/H5N1 virus challenge infection.

These findings may have implications for the general recommendation to vaccinate all healthy children against seasonal influenza in the light of the current pandemic threat caused by highly pathogenic avian A/H5N1 influenza viruses.

Recent Publications:

Vaccination against human influenza A/H3N2 virus prevents the induction of heterosubtypic immunity against lethal infection with avian influenza A/H5N1 virus.
Bodewes R, Kreijtz JH, Baas C, Geelhoed-Mieras MM, de Mutsert G, van Amerongen G, van den Brand JM, Fouchier RA, Osterhaus AD, Rimmelzwaan GF.
PLoS ONE. 2009;4(5):e5538. Epub 2009 May 14.

Candidate influenza vaccines based on recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara.
Rimmelzwaan GF, Sutter G.
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2009 Apr;8(4):447-54. Review.

Recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing the hemagglutinin gene confers protection against homologous and heterologous H5N1 influenza virus infections in macaques.
Kreijtz JH, Suezer Y, de Mutsert G, van den Brand JM, van Amerongen G, Schnierle BS, Kuiken T, Fouchier RA, Löwer J, Osterhaus AD, Sutter G, Rimmelzwaan GF.
J Infect Dis. 2009 Feb 1;199(3):405-13.

Correlates of protection: novel generations of influenza vaccines.
Rimmelzwaan GF, McElhaney JE.
Vaccine. 2008 Sep 12;26 Suppl 4:D41-4. Review.

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Publication date : 14 September 2023