Author(s): Hamelin ME, Couture C, Sackett MK, Boivin G
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Abstract Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a paramyxovirus that causes acute respiratory-tract infections in humans. The histopathological and immunological responses to hMPV infection in BALB/c mice immunized with inactivated hMPV were characterized. Animals were immunized intraperitoneally with PBS, supernatant from non-infected LLC-MK2 cells and from heat-inactivated influenza A- or hMPV-infected cells, all in incomplete Freund's adjuvant, or with heat-inactivated hMPV without adjuvant, and then infected intranasally with 10(8) TCID50 virus. Following infection, lung samples and bronchoalveolar lavages were collected for determination of viral titre and cytokine levels and for histopathological studies. On day 1, 26 \% of mice immunized with inactivated hMPV and adjuvant died, compared with none in the other groups. There was more significant lung inflammation associated with eosinophilic infiltration, as well as increased levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5, in the bronchoalveolar lavages of mice immunized with hMPV alone or with the adjuvant. Mice from the last two groups had a 4-5 log10 decrease in their pulmonary viral titres compared with controls. Our data demonstrate the risks associated with immunization using inactivated hMPV in this animal model and that this aberrant response should be considered in the development of hMPV vaccines.
This article was published in J Gen Virol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals