© Hyoung et al. H7N3 and H7N7 are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses and have posed a great threat not only for the poultry industry but for the human health as well. H7N9, a low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus, is also highly pathogenic to humans, and there is a great concern that these H7 subtypes would acquire the ability to spread efficiently between humans, thereby becoming a pandemic threat. A vaccine candidate covering all the three subtypes must, therefore, be an integral part of any pandemic preparedness plan. To address this need, we constructed a consensus hemagglutinin (HA) sequence of H7N3, H7N7, and H7N9 based on the data available in the NCBI in early 2012-2015. This artificial sequence was then optimized for protein expression before being transformed into an attenuated auxotrophic mutant of Salmonella Typhimurium, JOL1863 strain. Immunizing chickens with JOL1863, delivered intramuscularly, nasally or orally, elicited efficient humoral and cell mediated immune responses, independently of the route of vaccination. Our results also showed that JOL1863 deliver efficient maturation signals to chicken monocyte derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) which were characterized by upregulation of costimulatory molecules and higher cytokine induction. Moreover, immunization with JOL1863 in chickens conferred a significant protection against the heterologous LPAI H7N1 virus challenge as indicated by reduced viral sheddings in the cloacal swabs. We conclude that this vaccine, based on a consensus HA, could induce broader spectrum of protection against divergent H7 influenza viruses and thus warrants further study.
Hyoung, K. J., Hajam, I. A., & Lee, J. H. (2017). A consensus-hemagglutinin-based vaccine delivered by an attenuated Salmonella mutant protects chickens against heterologous H7N1 influenza virus. Oncotarget, 8(24). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16353