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PLOS Science Wednesday: Hi Reddit, my name is Scott Hensley and I recently published a study showing that antibodies with the “original antigenic sin” phenotype are an important component of immune responses against influenza – Ask Me Anything!
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Hi Reddit, My name is Scott Hensley and I am an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. My research focuses on how our immune systems try to stop pathogens and how pathogens fight back. At our lab, we are particularly interested in figuring out how viruses evade antibody responses. We recently published a study titled ‘Antibodies with Original Antigenic Sin Properties Are Valuable Components of Secondary Immune Responses to Influenza Viruses’ in PLOS Pathogens. In this study, we used a mouse model to show that antibodies stimulated by past influenza virus infections can help fight against new antigenically distinct influenza viruses, despite binding poorly to these new viruses. We propose that these antibodies, classically termed ‘original antigenic sin’ antibodies, are an important component of secondary immune responses against influenza viruses. I will be answering your questions at 1pm ET – Ask Me Anything! Don’t forget to follow our lab on Twitter @SCOTTeHENSLEY.