The respective roles of cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity in host defence were investigated in mice infected with influenza A/PR8 virus. Transferred immune spleen cells were shown to provide full protection only when they were actually secreting antibody. Serum antibody transferred in ‘physiological’ amounts was found to be protective in immunologically intact or in immunosuppressed animals. The specificity of the transferred antibody was shown to be critical, since antibody to internal components of the virus was inefficient while antibody to haemagglutinin, especially that to the strain-specific determinants of the haemagglutinin molecule, was highly efficient.
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