Evaluation of the efficacy of a pre-pandemic H5N1 vaccine (MG1109) in mouse and ferret models.J Microbiol. 2012 Jun; 50(3):478-88.JM
The threat of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus causing the next pandemic remains a major concern. In this study, we evaluated the immunogenicity and efficacy of an inactivated whole-virus H5N1 pre-pandemic vaccine (MG1109) formulated by Green Cross Co., Ltd containing the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of the clade 1 A/Vietnam/1194/04 virus in the backbone of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (RgVietNam/04xPR8/34). Administration of the MG1109 vaccine (2-doses) in mice and ferrets elicited high HI and SN titers in a dose-dependent manner against the homologous (RgVietNam/04xPR8/34) and various heterologous H5N1 strains, (RgKor/W149/06xPR8/34, RgCambodia/04xPR8/34, RgGuangxi/05xPR8/34), including a heterosubtypic H5N2 (A/Aquatic bird/orea/W81/05) virus. However, efficient cross-reactivity was not observed against heterosubtypic H9N2 (A/Ck/Korea/H0802/08) and H1N1 (PR/8/34) viruses. Mice immunized with 1.9 μg HA/dose of MG1109 were completely protected from lethal challenge with heterologous wild-type HPAI H5N1 A/EM/Korea/W149/06 (clade 2.2) and mouse-adapted H5N2 viruses. Furthermore, ferrets administered at least 3.8 μg HA/dose efficiently suppressed virus growth in the upper respiratory tract and lungs. Vaccinated mice and ferrets also demonstrated attenuation of clinical disease signs and limited virus spread to other organs. Thus, this vaccine provided immunogenic responses in mouse and ferret models even against challenge with heterologous HPAI H5N1 and H5N2 viruses. Since the specific strain of HPAI H5N1 virus that would potentially cause the next outbreak is unknown, pre-pandemic vaccine preparation that could provide cross-protection against various H5 strains could be a useful approach in the selection of promising candidate vaccines in the future.