A single dose of whole inactivated H7N9 influenza vaccine confers protection from severe disease but not infection in ferrets.
ABSTRACT: The H7N9 influenza virus caused significant mortality and morbidity in infected humans during an outbreak in China in 2013 stimulating vaccine development efforts. As previous H7-based vaccines have been poorly immunogenic in humans we sought to determine the immunogenic and protective properties of an inactivated whole virus vaccine derived from a 2013 H7N9 virus in ferrets. As whole virus vaccine preparations have been shown to be more immunogenic in humans, but less likely to be used, than split or surface antigen formulations, we vaccinated ferrets with a single dose of 15, 30, or 50 ?g of the vaccine and subsequently challenged with wild-type A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) either by direct instillation or by contact with infected animals. Although ferrets vaccinated with higher doses of vaccine had higher serum hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) titers, the titers were still low. During subsequent instillation challenge, however, ferrets vaccinated with 50 ?g of vaccine showed no illness and shed significantly less virus than mock vaccinated controls. All vaccinated ferrets had lower virus loads in their lungs as compared to controls. In a separate study where unvaccinated-infected ferrets were placed in the same cage with vaccinated-uninfected ferrets, vaccination did not prevent infection in the contact ferrets, although they showed a trend of lower viral load. Overall, we conclude that inactivated whole-virus H7N9 vaccine was able to reduce the severity of infection and viral load, despite the lack of hemagglutinin-inhibiting antibodies.
Project description:Since the first reports in early 2013, >440 human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported including 122 fatalities. After the isolation of the first A(H7N9) viruses, the nucleotide sequences became publically available. Based on the coding sequence of the influenza virus A/Shanghai/2/2013 hemagglutinin gene, a codon-optimized gene was synthesized and cloned into a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). This MVA-H7-Sh2 viral vector was used to immunize ferrets and proved to be immunogenic, even after a single immunization. Subsequently, ferrets were challenged with influenza virus A/Anhui/1/2013 via the intratracheal route. Unprotected animals that were mock vaccinated or received empty vector developed interstitial pneumonia characterized by a marked alveolitis, accompanied by loss of appetite, weight loss, and heavy breathing. In contrast, animals vaccinated with MVA-H7-Sh2 were protected from severe disease.
Project description:Live attenuated H7N9 influenza vaccine viruses that possess the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) gene segments from the newly emerged wild-type (wt) A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) and six internal protein gene segments from the cold-adapted influenza virus A/Ann Arbor/6/60 (AA ca) were generated by reverse genetics. The reassortant virus containing the original wt A/Anhui/1/2013 HA and NA sequences replicated poorly in eggs. Multiple variants with amino acid substitutions in the HA head domain that improved viral growth were identified by viral passage in eggs and MDCK cells. The selected vaccine virus containing two amino acid changes (N133D/G198E) in the HA improved viral titer by more than 10-fold (reached a titer of 10(8.6) fluorescent focus units/ml) without affecting viral antigenicity. Introduction of these amino acid changes into an H7N9 PR8 reassortant virus also significantly improved viral titers and HA protein yield in eggs. The H7N9 ca vaccine virus was immunogenic in ferrets. A single dose of vaccine conferred complete protection of ferrets from homologous wt A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) and nearly complete protection from heterologous wt A/Netherlands/219/2003 (H7N7) challenge infection. Therefore, this H7N9 live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) candidate has been selected for vaccine manufacture and clinical evaluation to protect humans from wt H7N9 virus infection.In response to the recent avian H7N9 influenza virus infection in humans, we developed a live attenuated H7N9 influenza vaccine (LAIV) with two amino acid substitutions in the viral HA protein that improved vaccine yield by 10-fold in chicken embryonated eggs, the substrate for vaccine manufacture. The two amino acids also improved the antigen yield for inactivated H7N9 vaccines, demonstrating that this finding could great facilitate the efficiency of H7N9 vaccine manufacture. The candidate H7N9 LAIV was immunogenic and protected ferrets against homologous and heterologous wild-type H7 virus challenge, making it suitable for use in protecting humans from H7 infection.
Project description:An effective vaccine is urgently needed against the H7N9 avian influenza virus. We evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a split-virion H7N9 vaccine with or without the oil-in-water adjuvants in ferrets.Ferrets were vaccinated with 2 doses of unadjuvanted, MF59 or AS03-adjuvanted A/Shanghai/2/2013 (H7N9) vaccine, and the induction of antibodies to hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase proteins was evaluated. Ferrets were then challenged with wild-type H7N9 virus to assess the vaccine's protective efficacy. The vaccine composition and integrity was also evaluated in vitro.Adjuvanted vaccines stimulated robust serum antibody titers against HA and neuraminidase compared with the unadjuvanted vaccines. Although there was a difference in adjuvanticity between AS03 and MF59 at a lower dose (3.75 µg of HA), both adjuvants induced comparable antibody responses after 2 doses of 15 µg. On challenge, ferrets that received adjuvanted vaccines showed lower viral burden than the control or unadjuvanted vaccine group. In vitro examinations revealed that the vaccine contained visible split-virus particles and retained the native conformation of HA recognizable by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.The adjuvanted H7N9 vaccines demonstrated superior immunogenicity and protective efficacy against H7N9 infection in ferrets and hold potential as a vaccination regimen.
Project description:The continued spread of the newly emerged H7N9 viruses among poultry in China, together with the emergence of drug-resistant variants and the possibility of human-to-human transmission, has spurred attempts to develop an effective vaccine. An MF59-adjuvant H7N9 inactivated vaccine is reported to be well-tolerated and immunogenic in humans; however a study in ferrets indicated that while a single dose of the inactivated H7N9 vaccine reduced disease severity, it did not prevent virus replication and transmission. In this study, we used reverse genetics to produce a cold-adapted, live attenuated H7N9 vaccine (H7N9/AAca) that contains wild-type HA and NA genes from AH/1, and the backbone of the cold-adapted influenza H2N2 A/Ann Arbor/6/60 virus (AAca). H7N9/AAca was attenuated in mice and ferrets, and induced robust neutralizing antibody responses in rhesus mice, ferrets, and guinea pigs immunized once or twice intranasally. The animals immunized twice were completely protected from H7N9 virus challenge. Importantly, the animals vaccinated once were fully protected from transmission when exposed to or in contact with the H7N9 virus-inoculated animals. These results demonstrate that a cold-adapted H7N9 vaccine can prevent H7N9 virus transmission; they provide a compelling argument for further testing of this vaccine in human trials.
Project description:The stem of the influenza A virus hemagglutinin (HA) is highly conserved and represents an attractive target for a universal influenza vaccine. The 18?HA subtypes of influenza A are phylogenetically divided into two groups, and while protection with group 1?HA stem vaccines has been demonstrated in animal models, studies on group 2 stem vaccines are limited. Thus, we engineered group 2?HA stem-immunogen (SI) vaccines targeting the epitope for the broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibody CR9114 and evaluated vaccine efficacy in mice and ferrets. Immunization induced antibodies that bound to recombinant HA protein and viral particles, and competed with CR9114 for binding to the HA stem. Mice vaccinated with H3 and H7-SI were protected from lethal homologous challenge with X-79 (H3N2) or A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9), and displayed moderate heterologous protection. In ferrets, H7-SI vaccination did not significantly reduce weight loss or nasal wash titers after robust 107 TCID50 H7N9 virus challenge. Epitope mapping revealed ferrets developed lower titers of antibodies that bound a narrow range of HA stem epitopes compared to mice, and this likely explains the lower efficacy in ferrets. Collectively, these findings indicate that while group 2 SI vaccines show promise, their immunogenicity and efficacy are reduced in larger outbred species, and will have to be enhanced for successful translation to a universal vaccine.
Project description:Avian influenza viruses continue to cross the species barrier, and if such viruses become transmissible among humans, it would pose a great threat to public health. Since its emergence in China in 2013, H7N9 has caused considerable morbidity and mortality. In the absence of a universal influenza vaccine, preparedness includes development of subtype-specific vaccines. In this study, we developed and evaluated in ferrets an intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) against H7N9 based on the A/Leningrad/134/17/57 (H2N2) cold-adapted master donor virus. We demonstrate that the LAIV is attenuated and safe in ferrets and induces high hemagglutination- and neuraminidase-inhibiting and virus-neutralizing titers. The antibodies against hemagglutinin were also cross-reactive with divergent H7 strains. To assess efficacy, we used an intratracheal challenge ferret model in which an acute severe viral pneumonia is induced that closely resembles viral pneumonia observed in severe human cases. A single- and two-dose strategy provided complete protection against severe pneumonia and prevented virus replication. The protective effect of the two-dose strategy appeared better than the single dose only on the microscopic level in the lungs. We observed, however, an increased lymphocytic infiltration after challenge in single-vaccinated animals and hypothesize that this a side effect of the model.
Project description:The recent emergence of highly pathogenic influenza A(H7N9) variants poses a great risk to humans. We show that ferrets vaccinated with low pathogenicity H7N9 virus vaccine do not develop severe symptoms after infection with an antigenically distinct, highly pathogenic H7N9 virus. These results demonstrate the protective benefits of this H7N9 vaccine.
Project description:Influenza H7N9 virus is a potentially pandemic subtype to which most people are immunologically naïve. To be better prepared for the potential occurrence of an H7N9 pandemic, in 2017 the World Health Organization recommended developing candidate vaccine viruses from two new H7N9 viruses, A/Guangdong/17SF003/2016 (A/GD) and A/Hong Kong/125/2017 (A/HK). This report describes the development of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) candidates against A/GD and A/HK viruses and study of their safety and immunogenicity in the ferret model in order to choose the most promising one for a phase I clinical trial. The A/HK-based vaccine candidate (A/17/HK) was developed by classical reassortment in eggs. The A/GD-based vaccine candidate (A/17/GD) was generated by reverse genetics. Ferrets were vaccinated with two doses of LAIV or phosphate-buffered saline. Both H7N9 LAIVs tested were safe for ferrets, as shown by absence of clinical signs, and by virological and histological data; they were immunogenic after a single vaccination. These results provide a compelling argument for further testing of these vaccines in volunteers. Since the A/HK virus represents the cluster that has caused the majority of human cases, and because the A/HK-based LAIV candidate was developed by classical reassortment, this is the preferred candidate for a phase I clinical trial.
Project description:Since the first case of human infection in March 2013, continued reports of H7N9 cases highlight a potential pandemic threat. Highly immunogenic vaccines to this virus are urgently needed to protect vulnerable populations who lack protective immunity. In this study, an egg- and adjuvant-independent adenoviral vector-based, hemagglutinin H7 subtype influenza vaccine (HAd-H7HA) demonstrated enhanced cell-mediated immunity as well as serum antibody responses in a mouse model. Most importantly, this vaccine provided complete protection against homologous A/H7N9 viral challenge suggesting its potential utility as a pandemic vaccine.
Project description:The emergence of severe cases of human influenza A (H7N9) viral infection in China in the spring of 2003 resulted in a global effort to rapidly develop an effective candidate vaccine. In this study, a cold-adapted (ca), live attenuated monovalent reassortant influenza H7N9 virus (Ah01/AA ca) was generated using reverse genetics that contained hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes from a 2013 pandemic A H7N9 isolate, A/Anhui/01/2013 virus (Ah01/H7N9); the remaining six backbone genes derived from the cold-adapted influenza H2N2 A/Ann Arbor/6/60 virus (AA virus). Ah01/AA ca virus exhibited temperature sensitivity (ts), ca, and attenuation (att) phenotypes. Intranasal immunization of female BALB/c mice with Ah01/AA ca twice at a 2-week interval induced robust humoral, mucosal, and cell-mediated immune responses in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the candidate Ah01/AA ca virus was immunogenic and offered partial or complete protection of mice against a lethal challenge by the live 2013 influenza A H7N9 (A/Anhui/01/2013). Protection was demonstrated by the inhibition of viral replication and the attenuation of histopathological changes in the challenged mouse lung. Taken together, these data support the further evaluation of this Ah01/AA ca candidate vaccine in primates.