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Kinetics of pulmonary immune cells, antibody responses and their correlations with the viral clearance of influenza A fatal infection in mice

Jin Lv1, Yanhong Hua3, Dan Wang1, Aofei Liu1, Juan An1, Aimin Li1, Yanfeng Wang1, Xiliang Wang2*, Na Jia2* and Qisheng Jiang1*

Author Affiliations

1 The Second Artillery General Hospital, PLA, 16 Xinjiekouwai Street, Xicheng District Beijing 100088, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, 20 Dong-Da Street, Fengtai District Beijing 100071, P.R. China

3 Department of Biochemistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:57  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-57

Published: 26 March 2014


Fatal influenza A virus infection is a major threat to public health throughout the world. Lung macrophages and neutrophils have critical roles for both the pathogenesis and viral clearance of fatal viral infections. These are complicated by the interaction of innate immunity and adaptive immunity against viral infection. In this study, we investigated the overall kinetics of lung macrophages, neutrophils, CD4+T cells, CD8+T cells, CD38+ cells, and CD138+ cells, the levels of antibody and cytokine responses, both in the early and late phases of fatal infection with A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus in mice. The changes in lung viral load were also evaluated. We found that pulmonary macrophages and neutrophils both accumulated in the early and late phases of fatal infections and they positively correlated with the lung and serum antibody titers, and negatively correlated with the viral load locally. The secretion of IL-6 might relate to high numbers of macrophages and neutrophils in the early infection. The work implies that pulmonary macrophages, neutrophils and the antibody response all have an essential role in virus elimination of fatal influenza A viral infection. These findings may have implications for the development of prophylactic and therapeutic strategies in fatal influenza A viral infection. Further evaluation of the cooperation among macrophages, neutrophils and antibody responses in eliminating the virus with fatal infection is needed.

Influenza A; Fatal infection; Macrophage; Neutrophil; Antibody