Type I interferons (IFN-I) are a major antiviral defense and are critical for the activation of the adaptive immune system. However, early viral clearance by IFN-I could limit antigen availability, which could in turn impinge upon the priming of the adaptive immune system. In this study, we hypothesized that transient IFN-I blockade could increase antigen presentation after acute viral infection. To test this hypothesis, we infected mice with viruses coadministered with a single dose of IFN-I receptor–blocking antibody to induce a short-term blockade of the IFN-I pathway. This resulted in a transient “spike” in antigen levels, followed by rapid antigen clearance. Interestingly, short-term IFN-I blockade after coronavirus, flavivirus, rhabdovirus, or arenavirus infection induced a long-lasting enhancement of immunological memory that conferred improved protection upon subsequent reinfections. Short-term IFN-I blockade also improved the efficacy of viral vaccines. These findings demonstrate a novel mechanism by which IFN-I regulate immunological memory and provide insights for rational vaccine design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy