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Vaccines 2018, 6(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines6040074

Two Live Attenuated Vaccines against Recent Low–and Highly Pathogenic H7N9 Influenza Viruses Are Safe and Immunogenic in Ferrets

1
Institute of Experimental Medicine, St. Petersburg 197376, Russia
2
Institute of Preclinical Research Ltd., St. Petersburg 188663, Russia
3
World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
These authors contributed equally to this work as first authors.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
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Abstract

Influenza H7N9 virus is a potentially pandemic subtype to which most people are immunologically naïve. To be better prepared for the potential occurrence of an H7N9 pandemic, in 2017 the World Health Organization recommended developing candidate vaccine viruses from two new H7N9 viruses, A/Guangdong/17SF003/2016 (A/GD) and A/Hong Kong/125/2017 (A/HK). This report describes the development of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) candidates against A/GD and A/HK viruses and study of their safety and immunogenicity in the ferret model in order to choose the most promising one for a phase I clinical trial. The A/HK-based vaccine candidate (A/17/HK) was developed by classical reassortment in eggs. The A/GD-based vaccine candidate (A/17/GD) was generated by reverse genetics. Ferrets were vaccinated with two doses of LAIV or phosphate-buffered saline. Both H7N9 LAIVs tested were safe for ferrets, as shown by absence of clinical signs, and by virological and histological data; they were immunogenic after a single vaccination. These results provide a compelling argument for further testing of these vaccines in volunteers. Since the A/HK virus represents the cluster that has caused the majority of human cases, and because the A/HK-based LAIV candidate was developed by classical reassortment, this is the preferred candidate for a phase I clinical trial. View Full-Text
Keywords: H7N9; avian influenza; pandemic threat; live attenuated influenza vaccine H7N9; avian influenza; pandemic threat; live attenuated influenza vaccine
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Rudenko, L.; Kiseleva, I.; Krutikova, E.; Stepanova, E.; Isakova-Sivak, I.; Donina, S.; Rekstin, A.; Pisareva, M.; Bazhenova, E.; Kotomina, T.; Katelnikova, A.; Muzhikyan, A.; Makarov, V.; Sparrow, E.G.; Torelli, G. Two Live Attenuated Vaccines against Recent Low–and Highly Pathogenic H7N9 Influenza Viruses Are Safe and Immunogenic in Ferrets. Vaccines 2018, 6, 74.

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