Characterization of the human CD8 + T cell response following infection with 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1 virus
The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic provided an opportunity to study human virus-specific T cell responses after infection with a novel influenza virus against which limited humoral immunity existed in the population. Here we describe the magnitude, kinetics, and nature of the virus-specific T cell response using intracellular gamma interferon (IFN-γ) staining and fluorochrome-labeled major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-peptide complexes. We demonstrate that influenza virus-infected patients develop recall T cell responses that peak within 1 week postinfection and that contract rapidly. In particular, effector cell frequencies declined rapidly postinfection in favor of relatively larger proportions of central memory cells.