Protective Efficacy of the Conserved NP, PB1, and M1 Proteins as Immunogens in DNA- and Vaccinia Virus-Based Universal Influenza A Virus Vaccines in Mice.Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2015 Jun; 22(6):618-30.CV
The conventional hemagglutinin (HA)- and neuraminidase (NA)-based influenza vaccines need to be updated most years and are ineffective if the glycoprotein HA of the vaccine strains is a mismatch with that of the epidemic strain. Universal vaccines targeting conserved viral components might provide cross-protection and thus complement and improve conventional vaccines. In this study, we generated DNA plasmids and recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing the conserved proteins nucleoprotein (NP), polymerase basic 1 (PB1), and matrix 1 (M1) from influenza virus strain A/Beijing/30/95 (H3N2). BALB/c mice were immunized intramuscularly with a single vaccine based on NP, PB1, or M1 alone or a combination vaccine based on all three antigens and were then challenged with lethal doses of the heterologous influenza virus strain A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). Vaccines based on NP, PB1, and M1 provided complete or partial protection against challenge with 1.7 50% lethal dose (LD50) of PR8 in mice. Of the three antigens, NP-based vaccines induced protection against 5 LD50 and 10 LD50 and thus exhibited the greatest protective effect. Universal influenza vaccines based on the combination of NP, PB1, and M1 induced a strong immune response and thus might be an alternative approach to addressing future influenza virus pandemics.