Abstract

Influenza is a seasonal acute respiratory infection, causing millions of illnesses worldwide on a yearly basis. A common subtype, the influenza A virus (IAV), is a single stranded RNA virus, that similarly to other subtypes, targets epithelial cells. The best way to protect against the virus is through vaccination. Vaccine induced protection is mediated through the generation of adaptive CD4 and CD8 T cells, as well as antibody producing B Cells. Although generally thought of as helper cells, previous research has highlighted additional roles of memory CD4 T cells in mediating protection against IAV beyond their helper function. More specifically they have been shown to enhance innate inflammatory responses and facilitate the recruitment of innate cell populations; including a recently discovered population of Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC). Previous research has shown ILCs to have a key role in tissue repair and limiting tissue damage following infection. Whether memory cell response, during protective recall, modulates ILC repair function is currently not well understood. To better understand the possible regulation of ILCs by memory cells, we utilized a molecular technique called reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), to assess select innate lymphoid cell associated protein expression following IAV challenge and rechallenge. We hypothesize, that memory cells drive differential expression of ILC associated repair proteins to assist in a faster and more efficient mobilization of repair processes following pathogenic invasion. Our goal is to highlight and better understand the regulatory and inflammatory responses memory cells provide following viral infection, as these may lead to key steps in the development of long lasting and efficacious vaccines.

Thesis Completion

2020

Semester

Fall

Thesis Chair

Strutt, Tara M.

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Medicine

Department

Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences

Language

English

Access Status

Campus Access

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Release Date

6-1-2026

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