In a recent study, we showed evidence for childhood HA imprinting, a phenomenon in which children develop preferential, lifelong immune memory against zoonotic influenza viruses with hemagglutinin (HA) antigens in the same phylogenetic group as the first influenza virus encountered in childhood (Gostic et al. 2016). Although our original study showed strong, population-level HA imprinting effects, it did not resolve the underlying immunological mechanisms.Similar immune imprinting phenomena, where individuals preferentially recall immune responses primed early in life, also influence seasonal influenza epidemiology via antigenic seniority (Lessler et al. 2012) and original antigenic sin (Francis 1960), yet the mechanisms underlying all these childhood immune imprinting phenomena remain poorly understood (Cobey & Hensley 2017). A recent letter from Dr. H. Lemke (Lemke 2017) suggested that these childhood imprinting effects might be mediated by the combined action of maternal antibodies (mAbs) and influenza antigen. In other words, that imprinting may require that children are exposed to influenza A virus in the first year of life, while maternal antibodies are still present.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)