A viable recombinant rhabdovirus lacking its glycoprotein gene and expressing influenza virus hemagglutinin and neuraminidase is a potent influenza vaccine.J Virol. 2015 Mar; 89(5):2820-30.JV
The emergence of novel influenza viruses that cause devastating human disease is an ongoing threat and serves as an impetus for the continued development of novel approaches to influenza vaccines. Influenza vaccine development has traditionally focused on producing humoral and/or cell-mediated immunity, often against the viral surface glycoproteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Here, we describe a new vaccine candidate that utilizes a replication-defective vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vector backbone that lacks the native G surface glycoprotein gene (VSVΔG). The expression of the H5 HA of an H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV), A/Vietnam/1203/04 (VN1203), and the NA of the mouse-adapted H1N1 influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) in the VSVΔG vector restored the ability of the recombinant virus to replicate in cell culture, without the requirement for the addition of trypsin. We show here that this recombinant virus vaccine candidate was nonpathogenic in mice when given by either the intramuscular or intranasal route of immunization and that the in vivo replication of VSVΔG-H5N1 is profoundly attenuated. This recombinant virus also provided protection against lethal H5N1 infection after a single dose. This novel approach to vaccination against HPAIVs may be widely applicable to other emerging strains of influenza virus.
Preparation for a potentially catastrophic influenza pandemic requires novel influenza vaccines that are safe, can be produced and administered quickly, and are effective, both soon after administration and for a long duration. We have created a new influenza vaccine that utilizes an attenuated vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vector, to deliver and express influenza virus proteins against which vaccinated animals develop potent antibody responses. The influenza virus hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins, expressed on the surface of VSV particles, allowed this vaccine to grow in cell culture and induced a potent antibody response in mice that was effective against infection with a lethal influenza virus. The mice showed no adverse reactions to the vaccine, and they were protected against an otherwise lethal influenza infection after only 14 days postvaccination and after as many as 140 days postvaccination. The ability to rapidly produce this safe and effective vaccine in cell culture is additionally advantageous.