Pandemic influenza 1918 H1N1 and 1968 H3N2 DNA vaccines induce cross-reactive immunity in ferrets against infection with viruses drifted for decades

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Karoline Bragstad, Cyril Martel, Joakim S. Thomsen, Kim Lynge Jensen, Lars P. Nielsen, Bent Aasted, Anders Fomsgaard

Please cite this paper as: Bragstad et al. (2010) Pandemic influenza 1918 H1N1 and 1968 H3N2 DNA vaccines induce cross-reactive immunity in ferrets against infection with viruses drifted for decades. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 5(1), 13-23. Background Alternative influenza vaccines and vaccine production forms are needed as the conventional protein vaccines do not induce broad cross-reactivity against drifted strains. Furthermore, fast vaccine production is especially important in a pandemic situation, and broader vaccine reactivity would diminish the need for frequent change in the vaccine formulations. Objective In this study, we compared the ability of pandemic influenza DNA vaccines to induce immunity against distantly related strains within a subtype with the immunity induced by conventional trivalent protein vaccines against homologous virus challenge. Methods Ferrets were immunised by particle-mediated epidermal delivery (gene gun) with DNA vaccines based on the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) and/or the matrix (M) and nucleoprotein genes of the 1918 H1N1 Spanish influenza pandemic virus or the 1968 H3N2 Hong Kong influenza pandemic virus. The animals were challenged with contemporary H1N1 or H3N2 viruses. Results We demonstrated that DNA vaccines encoding proteins of the original 1918 H1N1 pandemic virus induced protective cross-reactive immune responses in ferrets against infection with a 1947 H1N1 virus and a recent 1999 H1N1 virus. Similarly, a DNA vaccine, based on the HA and NA of the 1968 H3N2 pandemic virus, induced cross-reactive immune responses against a recent 2005 H3N2 virus challenge. Conclusions DNA vaccines based on pandemic or recent seasonal influenza genes induced cross-reactive immunity against contemporary virus challenge as good as or superior to contemporary conventional trivalent protein vaccines. This suggests a unique ability of influenza DNA to induce cross-protective immunity against both contemporary and long-time drifted viruses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInfluenza and Other Respiratory Viruses
Volume5
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
ISSN1750-2640
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ID: 32168706