Early epidemiologic and serologic studies have suggested pre-existing immunity to the pandemic A (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus (H1N1pdm) may be altering its morbidity and mortality in humans. To determine the role that contemporary seasonal H1N1 virus infection or trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV) might be playing in this immunity we conducted a vaccination-challenge study in ferrets. Vaccination with TIV was unable to alter subsequent morbidity or contact transmission in ferrets following challenge with H1N1pdm. Conversely, prior infection with the contemporary seasonal H1N1 strain altered morbidity, but not transmission, of H1N1pdm despite the detection of only minimal levels of cross reactive antibodies.
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