Scientific article

Divergent H7 immunogens offer protection from H7N9 virus challenge

Published inJournal of virology, vol. 88, no. 8, p. 3976-3985
Publication date2014

The emergence of avian H7N9 viruses in humans in China has renewed concerns about influenza pandemics emerging from Asia. Vaccines are still the best countermeasure against emerging influenza virus infections, but the process from the identification of vaccine seed strains to the distribution of the final product can take several months. In the case of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, a vaccine was not available before the first pandemic wave hit and therefore came too late to reduce influenza morbidity. H7 vaccines based on divergent isolates of the Eurasian and North American lineages have been tested in clinical trials, and seed strains and reagents are already available and can potentially be used initially to curtail influenza-induced disease until a more appropriately matched H7N9 vaccine is ready. In a challenge experiment in the mouse model, we assessed the efficacy of both inactivated virus and recombinant hemagglutinin vaccines made from seed strains that are divergent from H7N9 from each of the two major H7 lineages. Furthermore, we analyzed the cross-reactive responses of sera from human subjects vaccinated with heterologous North American and Eurasian lineage H7 vaccines to H7N9. Vaccinations with inactivated virus and recombinant hemagglutinin protein preparations from both lineages raised hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies against H7N9 viruses and protected mice from stringent viral challenges. Similar cross-reactivity was observed in sera of human subjects from a clinical trial with a divergent H7 vaccine. Existing H7 vaccine candidates based on divergent strains could be used as a first line of defense against an H7N9 pandemic. In addition, this also suggests that H7N9 vaccines that are currently under development might be stockpiled and used for divergent avian H7 strains that emerge in the future.

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral/immunology
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/administration & dosage/genetics/immunology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/genetics/immunology
  • Influenza A virus/genetics/immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage/genetics/immunology
  • Influenza, Human/immunology/prevention & control/virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Vaccination
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
KRAMMER, Florian et al. Divergent H7 immunogens offer protection from H7N9 virus challenge. In: Journal of virology, 2014, vol. 88, n° 8, p. 3976–3985. doi: 10.1128/JVI.03095-13
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0022-538X

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