The host defense response to influenza infection is complex. Specific humoral antibodies develop to the strain-specific surface antigens, the hemagglutinin and the neuraminidase, and to the internal antigens (matrix and nucleoprotein) which are common to all influenza A viruses (1). Antibodies to the hemagglutinin, which is the major surface antigen, neutralize viral infectivity (2). In addition to antibodies which have been detected against virion antigens, a cytotoxic T-cell response with specificity against the viral hemagglutinin on influenza-infected target cells (3-5) has been recently described. A more cross-reactive cytotoxic T-cell response has also been observed when a nonpermissively infected target cell is used in cytotoxicity assays (6,7). The present report describes the development during influenza infection and after vaccination of a cytolytic humoral antibody response which is directed against the hemagglutinin on infected target cells. This antibody-mediated lysis of infected cells in complement dependent, as has been reported with other virus infections (8-11).

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