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Sensing of influenza A virus (IAV) infection by pattern recognition receptors can occur by either direct infection of lung epithelial cells or uptake of virus-infected cells by innate cells such as dendritic cells/monocytes. This triggers a series of downstream events including activation of the inflammasome, the production of cytokines, chemokines, and the upregulation of stress-induced ligands that can lead to the activation of innate cells. These cells include innate lymphocytes such as MAIT, NKT, NK, and γδ T cells. Here we describe a method used to allow activation of human innate lymphocytes in co-culture with an IAV-infected human lung epithelial cell line (A549) to measure ex vivo effector functions (TNF and IFNγ) in a mixed culture environment. We describe (1) infection of the human lung epithelial cell line, (2) co-culture with PBMC, and (3) measurement of activation using intracellular cytokine staining.

Original publication




Journal article


Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Publication Date





141 - 147


Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.