Nonreplicating influenza A virus vaccines confer broad protection against lethal challenge.
Baz M., Boonnak K., Paskel M., Santos C., Powell T., Townsend A., Subbarao K.
UNLABELLED: New vaccine technologies are being investigated for their ability to elicit broadly cross-protective immunity against a range of influenza viruses. We compared the efficacies of two intranasally delivered nonreplicating influenza virus vaccines (H1 and H5 S-FLU) that are based on the suppression of the hemagglutinin signal sequence, with the corresponding H1N1 and H5N1 cold-adapted (ca) live attenuated influenza virus vaccines in mice and ferrets. Administration of two doses of H1 or H5 S-FLU vaccines protected mice and ferrets from lethal challenge with homologous, heterologous, and heterosubtypic influenza viruses, and two doses of S-FLU and ca vaccines yielded comparable effects. Importantly, when ferrets immunized with one dose of H1 S-FLU or ca vaccine were challenged with the homologous H1N1 virus, the challenge virus failed to transmit to naive ferrets by the airborne route. S-FLU technology can be rapidly applied to any emerging influenza virus, and the promising preclinical data support further evaluation in humans. IMPORTANCE: Influenza viruses continue to represent a global public health threat, and cross-protective vaccines are needed to prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza. Currently licensed influenza vaccines are based on immunity to the hemagglutinin protein that is highly variable. However, T cell responses directed against highly conserved viral proteins contribute to clearance of the virus and confer broadly cross-reactive and protective immune responses against a range of influenza viruses. In this study, two nonreplicating pseudotyped influenza virus vaccines were compared with their corresponding live attenuated influenza virus vaccines, and both elicited robust protection against homologous and heterosubtypic challenge in mice and ferrets, making them promising candidates for further evaluation in humans.