Journal of Clinical Immunology

, 31:900

Individual Antibody and T Cell Responses to Vaccination and Infection with the 2009 Pandemic Swine-Origin H1N1 Influenza Virus

  • Gillian M. Air
  • JingQi Feng
  • Tao Chen
  • Michelle L. Joachims
  • Judith A. James
  • Linda F. Thompson

DOI: 10.1007/s10875-011-9563-1

Cite this article as:
Air, G.M., Feng, J., Chen, T. et al. J Clin Immunol (2011) 31: 900. doi:10.1007/s10875-011-9563-1



The 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus (swH1N1) provided an opportunity to study immune responses to a new influenza strain in the context of seasonal influenza vaccination. Our goals were: to assess whether analyzing multiple parameters of immune responsiveness to influenza has an advantage over evaluating hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) titer alone, to determine whether vaccination with the seasonal vaccine induced cross-reactive immunity to swH1N1 in some individuals, and to determine whether the immune response against swH1N1 is higher after infection than vaccination.


Antibody and T cell responses were studied in ten subjects who were first immunized with the 2009–2010 seasonal influenza subunit vaccine, then 6 weeks later with the swH1N1 monovalent subunit vaccine. The amount of antibody against native virus glycoproteins, overall avidity of these antibodies, and HAI titer were measured. T cells were evaluated for proliferation and IFNγ secretion in response to the vaccine in vitro. Individuals with influenza-like illness were also evaluated, adding a microplate neuraminidase inhibition (NAI) test.


The immune response to influenza was highly variable and immune parameters did not increase in parallel. The seasonal vaccine induced antibodies recognizing the pandemic virus in 50% of subjects. Antibody affinity and NAI activity to swH1N1 were higher after natural infection than vaccination.


The evaluation of several immune parameters gives a more complete measure of immune responsiveness to influenza infection or vaccination than the HAI test alone.


Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine response antibodies T cells after infection 





Carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester




Influenza-like illness




Swine-origin 2009 pandemic H1N1 human influenza virus

Supplementary material

10875_2011_9563_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (192 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1Individual antibody and T cell responses to immunization with the seasonal and swH1N1 influenza vaccines. All subjects were immunized with the 2009–2010 seasonal trivalent subunit influenza vaccine and with the swH1N1 vaccine approximately 6 weeks later. Blood samples were obtained on the days of vaccination (blood draws 1 and 3) and 2 weeks after each vaccination (blood draws 2 and 4). Antibody responses were evaluated by measuring Bmax, Ka, and HAI at each time point. T cell responses were assessed by measuring IFNγ production by ELISPOT and proliferation by CFSE dye dilution after culturing PBMCs in vitro with the vaccines. The blood draws are labeled “1, 2, 3, and 4” across the bottom of each panel and HAI is plotted as number of wells showing HA inhibition as in Fig. 1. (PPT 192 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gillian M. Air
    • 1
  • JingQi Feng
    • 1
  • Tao Chen
    • 1
  • Michelle L. Joachims
    • 2
  • Judith A. James
    • 3
  • Linda F. Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Immunobiology and Cancer ProgramOklahoma Medical Research FoundationOklahoma CityUSA
  3. 3.Arthritis and Clinical Immunology ProgramOklahoma Medical Research FoundationOklahoma CityUSA

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