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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Diversity of the antibody response to the different antigenic determinants on the hemagglutinin subunits of influenza viruses.

Sera from rabbits hyperimmunized with hemagglutinin (HA) subunits isolated from the A/Port Chalmers/73 (H3N2)strain of influenza virus showed great differences in their cross-reactions with different strains of influenza virus. In hemagglutination-inhibition tests, some sera reacted to about the same titer with A/Port Chalmers/73 and A/Hong Kong/68 viruses, suggesting that these two strains were very closely related. Other sera, which reacted to high titer with A/Port Chalmers/73 virus, had only a low titer with the Hong Kong/68 strain, suggesting that the two viruses were distantly related. Evidence suggested that these diverse cross-reactions were due to widely different ratios, in the different sera, of antibodies to the "common" and the "specific" antigenic determinants on the HA subunits. Thus, some rabbits gave a stronger response to the "common" determinants than to the "specific", whereas in others, the reverse seemed to be the case. Sera from human volunteers injected with A/Port Chalmers/73 inactivated or subunit influenza virus vaccines, or from people infected with Port Chalmers/73 virus, contained, in most cases, antibodies predominantly to the "common" antigenic determinants on the HA subunits. These sera reacted to higher titer with Hong Kong/68 virus than with the Port Chalmers/73 strain. Absorption of these sera with Hong Kong/68 virus totally removed all detectable antibody, suggesting that they contained no antibody to the "specific" determinants of Port Chalmers/73 HA. Paradoxically, absorption of the sera with Port Chalmers virus did not remove all antibodies, suggesting that the sera contained antibodies to the "specific" determinants on Hong Kong/68 HA.[1]


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