Distinct and complementary roles of CD4 T cells in protective immunity to influenza virus

Publication date: August 2018
Source:Current Opinion in Immunology, Volume 53
Author(s): Andrea J Sant, Katherine A Richards, Jennifer Nayak
CD4 T cells play a multiplicity of roles in protective immunity to influenza. Included in these functions are help for high affinity antibody production, enhancement of CD8 T cell expansion, function and memory, acceleration of the early innate response to infection and direct cytotoxicity. The influenza-specific CD4 T cell repertoire in humans established through exposures to infection and vaccination has been found to be highly variable in abundance, specificity and functionality. Deficits in particular subsets of CD4 T cells recruited into the response result in diminished antibody responses and protection from infection. Therefore, improved strategies for vaccination should include better methods to identify deficiencies in the circulating CD4 T cell repertoire, and vaccine constructs that increase the representation of CD4 T cells of the correct specificity and functionality.