The stability and immunogenicity of inactivated MDCK cell-derived influenza H7N9 viruses

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In recent years, cell-based influenza vaccines have gained a great interest over the egg-based vaccines. Several inactivated H7N9 vaccines have been evaluated in clinical trials, including whole-virion vaccines, split vaccines and subunit vaccines. Recently, we developed a new suspension MDCK (sMDCK) cell line for influenza viruses production. However, the properties of purified antigen from sMDCK cells remain unclear. In this study, the stability of influenza H7N9 vaccine bulk derived from sMDCK cells was investigated, and the data were compared with the vaccine antigen derived from our characterized adhesion MDCK (aMDCK) cells in serum-free medium. The influenza H7N9 bulks derived from sMDCK and aMDCK cells were stored at 2–8 °C for different periods of time, and a number of parameters selected to monitor the H7N9 vaccine antigen stability were evaluated at each interval (1, 3 and 12 months). The monitored parameters included virus morphology, hemagglutinin (HA) activity, HA concentration, antigenicity, and immunogenicity. The sMDCK-derived H7N9 bulk showed similar morphology to that of the aMDCK-derived H7N9 bulk, and there were no obvious changes after the extended storage periods. Furthermore, the HA titer, HA concentration, and antigenicity of sMDCK-derived H7N9 bulk were stable after 28 months of storage. Finally, the results of hemagglutination inhibition and neutralization tests showed that sMDCK- and aMDCK-derived H7N9 vaccines had comparable immunogenicity. These results indicated that sMDCK-derived H7N9 bulk has good stability compared to that of aMDCK-derived H7N9 bulk. Thus, the newly developed suspension MDCK cell line shows a great alternative for manufacturing cell-based influenza vaccines.




Tzeng, T. T., Lai, C. C., Weng, T. C., Cyue, M. H., Tsai, S. Y., Tseng, Y. F., … Hu, A. Y. C. (2019). The stability and immunogenicity of inactivated MDCK cell-derived influenza H7N9 viruses. Vaccine, 37(47), 7117–7122.

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