© 2014 PLOS ONE. Background: The rapid evolution of new sublineages of H5N1 influenza poses the greatest challenge in control of H5N1 infection by currently existing vaccines. To overcome this, an MVAtor vector expressing three H5HA antigens A/Vietnam/1203/04, A/Indonesia/669/06 and A/Anhui/01/05 (MVAtor-tri-HA vector) was developed to elicit broad cross-protection against diverse clades by covering amino acid variations in the major neutralizing epitopes of HA among H5N1 subtypes. Methods: BALB/c mice and guinea pigs were immunized i.m. with 8×10 7 TCID 50 /animal of MVAtor-tri-HA vector. The immunogenicity and cross-protective immunity of the MVAtor-tri-HA vector was evaluated against diverse clades of H5N1 strains. Results: The results showed that mice immunized with MVAtor-tri-HA vector induced robust cross-neutralizing immunity to diverse H5N1 clades. In addition, the MVAtor-tri-HA vector completely protected against 10 MLD 50 of a divergent clade of H5N1 infection (clade 7). Importantly, the serological surveillance of post-vaccinated guinea pig sera demonstrated that MVAtor-tri-HA vector was able to elicit strong cross-clade neutralizing immunity against twenty different H5N1 strains from six clades that emerged between 1997 and 2012. Conclusions: The present findings revealed that incorporation of carefully selected HA genes from divergent H5N1 strains within a single vector could be an effective approach in developing a vaccine with broad coverage to prevent infection during a pandemic situation.
Prabakaran, M., Leyrer, S., He, F., Auer, S., Kumar, S. R., Kindsmueller, K., … Kwang, J. (2014). Progress toward a universal H5N1 vaccine: A recombinant modified vaccinia virus ankara-expressing trivalent hemagglutinin vaccine. PLoS ONE, 9(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107316