Pre-Existing Cross-Reactive Antibodies to Avian Influenza H5N1 and 2009 Pandemic H1N1 in US Military Personnel

Sathit Pichyangkul Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Somporn Krasaesub Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Anan Jongkaewwattana Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Arunee Thitithanyanont Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Suwimon Wiboon-ut Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Kosol Yongvanitchit Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Amporn Limsalakpetch Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Utaiwan Kum-Arb Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Duangrat Mongkolsirichaikul Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Nuanpan Khemnu Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Rangsini Mahanonda Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Jean-Michel Garcia Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Carl J. Mason Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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Douglas S. Walsh Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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David L. Saunders Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong

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We studied cross-reactive antibodies against avian influenza H5N1 and 2009 pandemic (p) H1N1 in 200 serum samples from US military personnel collected before the H1N1 pandemic. Assays used to measure antibodies against viral proteins involved in protection included a hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay and a neuraminidase inhibition (NI) assay. Viral neutralization by antibodies against avian influenza H5N1 and 2009 pH1N1 was assessed by influenza (H5) pseudotyped lentiviral particle-based and H1N1 microneutralization assays. Some US military personnel had cross-neutralizing antibodies against H5N1 (14%) and 2009 pH1N1 (16.5%). The odds of having cross-neutralizing antibodies against 2009 pH1N1 were 4.4 times higher in subjects receiving more than five inactivated whole influenza virus vaccinations than those subjects with no record of vaccination. Although unclear if the result of prior vaccination or disease exposure, these pre-existing antibodies may prevent or reduce disease severity.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Sathit Pichyangkul, USAMC—Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Immunology and Medicine, 315/6 Rajvithi Road, Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand. E-mail: SathitP@afrims.org

Financial support: This research was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Grant Y1-AI-5026-01, the Thailand Research Fund, and Chulalongkorn University.

Authors' addresses: Sathit Pichyangkul, Somporn Krasaesub, Kosol Yongvanitchit, Amporn Limsalakpetch, Utaiwan Kum-Arb, Duangrat Mongkolsirichaikul, Nuanpan Khemnu, Carl J. Mason, Douglas S. Walsh, and David L. Saunders, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand, E-mails: SathitP@afrims.org, SompornK@afrims.org, KosolY@afrims.org, AmpornL@afrims.org, UtaiwanS@afrims.org, DuangratM@afrims.org, NuanpanK@afrims.org, Carl.Mason@afrims.org. douglas.s.walsh@us.army.mil, and David.Saunders@afrims.org. Anan Jongkaewwattana, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Pathum Thani, Thailand, E-mail: anan.jon@biotec.or.th. Arunee Thitithanyanont and Suwimon Wiboon-ut, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, E-mails: scaty@mahidol.ac.th and swiboonut@gmail.com. Rangsini Mahanonda, Department of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, E-mail: rangsini.m@chula.ac.th. Jean-Michel Garcia, Hong Kong University—Pasteur Research Center, Hong Kong, E-mail: jmgarcia@hku.hk.

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