Underlying mechanisms of individual variation in severity of influenza infection and response to vaccination are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of reduced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression on vaccine response and outcome of influenza infection. HO-1-deficient and wild-type (WT) mice (kingdom, Animalia; phylum, Chordata; genus/species, Mus musculus) were infected with influenza virus A/PR/8/34 with or without prior vaccination with an adenoviral- based influenza vaccine. A genome-wide association study evaluated the expression of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the HO-1 gene and the response to influenza vaccination in healthy humans. HO-1-deficient mice had decreased survival after influenza infection compared to WT mice (median survival 5.5 vs. 6.5 d, P=0.016). HO-1-deficient mice had impaired production of antibody following influenza vaccination compared to WT mice (mean antibody titer 869 vs. 1698, P=0.02). One SNP in HO-1 and one SNP in the constitutively expressed isoform HO-2 were independently associated with decreased antibody production after influenza vaccination in healthy human volunteers (P=0.017 and 0.014, respectively). HO-1 deficient mice were paired with sex- and age-matched WT controls. HO-1 affects the immune response to both influenza infection and vaccination, suggesting that therapeutic induction of HO-1 expression may represent a novel adjuvant to enhance influenza vaccine effectiveness.
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology