Immunization of BALB/c mice with a single dose of the Sabin type 1, type 2 or type 3 poliovirus vaccine strains stimulated cross-reactive T helper cell responses detected by both proliferation and interleukin (IL)-2/IL-4 production. Although the polyclonal T cell responses were cross-reactive, the results also suggest that a proportion of the T cells were directed against serotype-specific determinants. In contrast, neutralizing antibodies, assayed in the serum from the same animals, were predominantly serotype-specific and only reached significant titres after secondary immunization. A comparison of the immunogenicity of poliovirus administered subcutaneously in Freund's complete adjuvant or intraperitoneally as an alum precipitate or without adjuvant, showed that optimum responses were obtained by immunization with virus in the presence of alum. An examination of the effect of heterotypic priming showed that immunization with type 2 virus primed for a secondary antibody response to each of the three serotypes, whereas priming with type 1 or type 3 viruses could only generate a secondary antibody response to the homologous virus or to type 2 virus.


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