Cutting edge: rapid boosting of cross-reactive memory CD8 T cells broadens the protective capacity of the Flumist vaccine

J Immunol. 2013 Apr 15;190(8):3854-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202790. Epub 2013 Mar 6.


Memory CD8 T cells recognizing conserved proteins from influenza A virus (IAV), such as nucleoprotein, have the potential to provide protection in individuals who lack the proper neutralizing Abs. In this study, we show that the most potent CD8 T cell-inducing influenza vaccine on the market (Flumist) does not induce sufficient numbers of cross-reactive CD8 T cells to provide substantial protection against lethal nonhomologous IAV challenge. However, Flumist-primed CD8 T cells rapidly acquire memory characteristics and can respond to short-interval boosting to greatly enlarge the IAV-specific memory pool, which is sufficient to protect mice from nonhomologous IAV challenge. Thus, a current vaccine strategy, Flumist, may serve as a priming platform for the rapid induction of large numbers of memory CD8 T cells with the capacity for broad protection against influenza.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Time Factors


  • Influenza Vaccines