RECOMBINATION AND TRANSMISSION STUDIES WITH INFLUENZA VIRUS.
Annual progress rept. 1 Jul 67-30 Jun 68,
CORNELL UNIV MEDICAL COLL NEW YORK
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Studies during the past year have focused on the role and significance of the neuraminidase enzyme of influenza viruses in infection and immunity. The isolation of purified enzyme from other viral proteins has permitted an analysis of the relative importance of this enzyme in immunity. Mice and rabbits have been immunized with isolated A2 neuraminidase and antibody specific for the neuraminidase has been demonstrated in the sera of these animals. Mice so immunized have been challenged with aerosols of various influenza A viruses and immunity has been measured by the sensitive method of reduction in pulmonary virus. It appears that immunization with the viral enzyme is highly efficient in inducing immunity to challenge viruses containing the homologous enzyme. Mice are also protected by passive immunization with preformed antibody to the enzyme from rabbits. Studies of humans naturally infected with influenza A2 virus have demonstrated the formation of antibody to the viral enzyme in these patients. The important question of whether commercial vaccine induces adequate amounts of antineuraminidase enzyme is now being examined in collaboration with other members of the Commission on Influenza. Author