Delivery of cytokines by recombinant virus in early life alters the immune response to adult lung infection

James A. Harker, Debbie C.P. Lee, Yuko Yamaguchi, Belinda Wang, Alexander Bukreyev, Peter L. Collins, John S. Tregoning, Peter J.M. Openshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main cause of bronchiolitis, the major cause of hospitalization of infants. An ideal RSV vaccine would be effective for neonates, but the immune responses of infants differ markedly from those of adults, often showing a bias toward T-helper 2 (Th2) responses and reduced gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production. We previously developed recombinant RSV vectors expressing IFN-γ and interleukin-4 (IL-4) that allow us to explore the role of these key Th1 and Th2 cytokines during infection. The aim of the current study was to explore whether an immunomodulation of infant responses could enhance protection. The expression of IFN-γ by a recombinant RSV vector (RSV/IFN-γ) attenuated primary viral replication in newborn mice without affecting the development of specific antibody or T-cell responses. Upon challenge, RSV/IFN-γ mice were protected from the exacerbated disease observed for mice primed with wild-type RSV; however, antiviral immunity was not enhanced. Conversely, the expression of IL-4 by recombinant RSV did not affect virus replication in neonates but greatly enhanced Th2 immune responses upon challenge without affecting weight loss. These studies demonstrate that it is possible to manipulate infant immune responses by using cytokine-expressing recombinant viruses and that neonatal deficiency in IFN-γ responses may lead to enhanced disease during secondary infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5294-5302
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of virology
Volume84
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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