Peripheral Leukocyte Migration in Ferrets in Response to Infection with Seasonal Influenza Virus
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Peripheral Leukocyte Migration in Ferrets in Response to Infection with Seasonal Influenza Virus

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      PLoS One
    • Description:
      In order to better understand inflammation associated with influenza virus infection, we measured cell trafficking, via flow cytometry, to various tissues in the ferret model following infection with an A(H3N2) human seasonal influenza virus (A/Perth/16/2009). Changes in immune cells were observed in the blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and spleen, as well as lymph nodes associated with the site of infection or distant from the respiratory system. Nevertheless clinical symptoms were mild, with circulating leukocytes exhibiting rapid, dynamic, and profound changes in response to infection. Each of the biological compartments examined responded differently to influenza infection. Two days after infection, when infected ferrets showed peak fever, a marked, transient lymphopenia and granulocytosis were apparent in all infected animals. Both draining and distal lymph nodes demonstrated significant accumulation of T cells, B cells, and granulocytes at days 2 and 5 post-infection. CD8+ T cells significantly increased in spleen at days 2 and 5 post-infection; CD4+ T cells, B cells and granulocytes significantly increased at day 5. We interpret our findings as showing that lymphocytes exit the peripheral blood and differentially home to lymph nodes and tissues based on cell type and proximity to the site of infection. Monitoring leukocyte homing and trafficking will aid in providing a more detailed view of the inflammatory impact of influenza virus infection.
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