Serum antibody response to matrix protein 2 following natural infection with 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus in humans.


Natural infection-induced humoral immunity to matrix protein 2 (M2) of influenza A viruses in humans is not fully understood. Evidence suggests that anti-M2 antibody responses following influenza A virus infection are weak and/or transient. We show that the seroprevalence of anti-M2 antibodies increased with age in 317 serum samples from healthy individuals in the United States in 2007-2008. Infection with 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus (A[H1N1]pdm09) elicited a recall serum antibody response to M2 protein of A(H1N1)pdm09 in 47% of the affected 118 individuals tested. Anti-M2 antibody responses were more robust among individuals with preexisting antibodies to M2 protein. Moreover, the antibodies induced as a result of infection with A(H1N1)pdm09 were cross-reactive with M2 protein of seasonal influenza A viruses. These results emphasize the need to further investigate the possible roles of anti-M2 antibodies in human influenza A virus infection.

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