Analyses of Cellular Immune Responses in Ferrets Following Influenza Virus Infection

Anthony T. DiPiazza, Katherine A. Richards, Wen Chun Liu, Randy A. Albrecht, Andrea J. Sant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ferrets are an ideal animal model in which to study the transmission of respiratory viruses as well as disease progression and vaccine efficacy because of their close anatomical and physiological resemblances to humans. However, a paucity of reagents and standardized procedures has hampered research progress, especially for studying cell-mediated immunity. The approaches described here—leukocyte isolation from whole blood and secondary lymphoid tissues—are generalizable, highly reproducible, and deliver single cell suspensions with excellent cell viability. Importantly, we have now developed assays to quantify key cellular components and antigen-specific T cell responses at the single cell level from multiple tissue compartments following influenza infection in ferrets. Collectively, these methods were instrumental in flow cytometry studies that revealed alterations in immune cell composition and distribution across lymphoid tissues following viral infection. Furthermore, sorting of T cell populations and peptide restimulation ex vivo in cytokine ELISpot assays has provided novel insight into the influenza-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell repertoire. The detailed procedures for these techniques are described in this chapter and can likely be adapted for the analyses of responses to many respiratory pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Cytokines
  • ELISpot
  • Ferret
  • Flow cytometry


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