Impact of Influenza on Pneumococcal Vaccine Effectiveness during Streptococcus pneumoniae Infection in Aged Murine Lung.
Changes in innate and adaptive immune responses caused by viral imprinting can have a significant direct or indirect influence on secondary infections and vaccine responses. The purpose of our current study was to investigate the role of immune imprinting by influenza on pneumococcal vaccine effectiveness during Streptococcus pneumoniae infection in the aged murine lung. Aged adult (18 months) mice were vaccinated with the pneumococcal polyvalent vaccine Pneumovax (5 mg/mouse). Fourteen days post vaccination, mice were instilled with PBS or influenza A/PR8/34 virus (3.5 × 102 PFU). Control and influenza-infected mice were instilled with PBS or S. pneumoniae (1 × 103 CFU, ATCC 6303) on day 7 of infection and antibacterial immune responses were assessed in the lung. Our results illustrate that, in response to a primary influenza infection, there was diminished bacterial clearance and heightened production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL6 and IL1β. Vaccination with Pneumovax decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine production by modulating NFҡB expression; however, these responses were significantly diminished after influenza infection. Taken together, the data in our current study illustrate that immune imprinting by influenza diminishes pneumococcal vaccine efficacy and, thereby, may contribute to increased susceptibility of older persons to a secondary infection with S. pneumoniae.