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Analysis of the local and systemic immune responses induced in BALB/c mice by experimental respiratory syncytial virus infection

Lookup NU author(s): Dr John Anderson, Jean Norden, Dr David Saunders, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Toms, Dr Ronald Scott


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Pulmonary A2 strain respiratory syncytial virus infection of BALB/c laboratory mice persisted for up to 7 days after initial infection with peak virus titres being recovered on day 4. Virus antigen within the lungs was found to be restricted essentially to the alveolar regions. Similarly, pulmonary histopathological changes remained confined to the peri-alveolar regions being consistent with mild pneumonia. Infection was found to elicit a pulmonary major histocompatibility complex-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response which was first detectable 6 days after infection and optimal 7 to 9 days after infection. This local CTL response was preceded by a rapid transient virus-specific lymphocyte transformation response which was detectable only 3 days after intranasal infection. In addition, infection induced rapid interferon production within the lungs which was accompanied by an equally rapid rise in pulmonary natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxic activity. Enhanced NK cell cytotoxicity could be detected after only 1 day post-infection and continued to rise to maximum levels on day 3. This response like the acute CTL response was found to be restricted to the lower respiratory tract. IgG was the first class of virus-specific immunoglobulin to be detected in the lungs of infected animals after experimental infection. However, IgG was not detected until day 10 post-infection, 5 days after the initial decline of virus shedding. Virus-specific IgA although detectable did not appear in the lung until day 24.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson JJ, Norden J, Saunders D, Toms GL, Scott R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of General Virology

Year: 1990

Volume: 71

Issue: part 7

Pages: 1561-1570

Print publication date: 01/07/1990

ISSN (print): 0022-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1465-2099


DOI: 10.1099/0022-1317-71-7-1561

PubMed id: 2197371


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