Correlation between virus production and the development of a functional immune response

28 December 2015

BPRC - 1. Correlation between virus production and the development of a functional immune response

The immune system and the physiology of rhesus and cynomolgus monkeys is very similar to that of humans. Therefore, these animals play an important role in research on the safety and efficacy of new influenza vaccines.

It has already been shown that monkeys can be successfully infected with the influenza virus. While viral replication takes place in monkeys, similar to human infection, this does not always result in clinical symptoms. This level of variation demands that for studies testing the potential of new vaccine candidates sufficient numbers of monkeys are included to reach significant conclusions. BPRC researchers have attempted to increase the robustness of the model by infecting monkeys with a higher dose of virus. In case more monkeys get clinical symptoms, influenza vaccines can be tested using less animals.

Unfortunately, the increased amount of administered virus did not cause symptoms in more animals. However, the animals did have higher fever, and there was a correlation between the amount of virus administered and the production of a functional immuunresponse. This knowledge may be relevant in determining which (vaccination-induced) reactions of the immune system are necessary for elimination of influenza viruses. This work has been published in the Journal of Virology (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26537681).