Human alveolar macrophages may not be susceptible to direct infection by a human influenza virus

David B. Ettensohn, Mark W. Frampton, Joan E. Nichols, Norbert J. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The current studies were undertaken to determine the susceptibility of human alveolar macrophages (AMs) to influenza A virus (IAV) infection in comparison with autologous peripheral blood-derived monocytes-macrophages (PBMs). AMs and PBMs were exposed to IAV in vitro and examined for their ability to bind and internalize IAV, and synthesize viral proteins and RNA. PBMs but not AMs demonstrated binding and internalization of the virus, synthesizing viral proteins and RNA. Exposure of AMs in the presence of a sialidase inhibitor or anti-IAV antibody resulted in viral protein synthesis by the cells. Exposure of AMs to fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled IAV in the presence of anti-fluorescein isothiocyanate antibody also resulted in viral protein synthesis. Thus, human AMs are apparently not susceptible to direct infection by a human IAV but are likely to be infected indirectly in the setting of exposure in the presence of antibody that binds the challenging strain of IAV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1658-1665
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Human alveolar macrophages
  • Influenza virus
  • Macrophages
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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