Antibodies to HA and NA augment uptake of influenza A viruses into cells via Fc receptor entry

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Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research; Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

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Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease | Virology


The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) of influenza A viruses induce antibodies which augment the uptake of influenza A virus by antigen presenting cells via Fc receptor entry. Antibody-dependent enhancement of uptake of virus by cells was mediated by Fc receptors because F(ab')2 preparations of lgG mixed with virus did not enhance virus uptake. The enhanced infection was measured using a fluorescent focus assay and was confirmed by dot-blot hybridization analysis. A 25-fold increase in the number of cells containing influenza antigens was detected when virus was mixed with subneutralizing concentrations of immune serum to the homologous virus before adding to neuraminidase-treated cells. Infection was also augmented using reassortant viruses which shared only the HA or the NA of the virus used to induce antibodies. Specific antisera to purified HA or NA also enhanced virus uptake. These results indicate that both the HA and the NA induce antibodies that enhance uptake of virus by Fc receptor bearing cells. In addition we determined that the drift of neutralizing antigens occurred more quickly than the drift of infection-enhancing antigens during the evolution of virus strains of the H3 subtype. The increase in the number of antigen presenting cells as a result of uptake of virus complexed with cross-reactive enhancing antibodies may affect the T cell responses to influenza infection.


Virology. 1991 May;182(1):211-9.

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