Animal models in influenza vaccine testing.
ABSTRACT The threat of a pandemic outbreak of influenza A H5N1 and H2N2 has brought attention to the development of new vaccines. Regulatory authorities require companies to provide data proving the effectiveness of vaccines, which cannot, however, be based on real efficacy data in humans. A weight-of-evidence approach may be used, based on evidence of protection in an appropriate animal model and the satisfaction of the surrogate end points in the clinical situation. In this review, we will discuss various animal species that can be infected with influenza. The main animals used for testing vaccines destined for human use are laboratory mice and ferrets and, to a lesser extent, macaques. We will focus particularly on these species.
SourceAvailable from: PubMed Central[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Influenza virus infections are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the human population. Depending on the virulence of the influenza virus strain, as well as the immunological status of the infected individual, the severity of the respiratory disease may range from sub-clinical or mild symptoms to severe pneumonia that can sometimes lead to death. Vaccines remain the primary public health measure in reducing the influenza burden. Though the first influenza vaccine preparation was licensed more than 60 years ago, current research efforts seek to develop novel vaccination strategies with improved immunogenicity, effectiveness, and breadth of protection. Animal models of influenza have been essential in facilitating studies aimed at understanding viral factors that affect pathogenesis and contribute to disease or transmission. Among others, mice, ferrets, pigs, and nonhuman primates have been used to study influenza virus infection in vivo, as well as to do pre-clinical testing of novel vaccine approaches. Here we discuss and compare the unique advantages and limitations of each model.12/2014; 3(4):845-874. DOI:10.3390/pathogens3040845
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ability of an influenza virus to transmit efficiently from human-to-human is a major factor in determining the epidemiological impact of that strain. The use of a relevant animal model to identify viral determinants of transmission, as well as host and environmental factors affecting transmission efficiency, is therefore critical for public health. The characterization of newly emerging influenza viruses in terms of their potential to transmit in a mammalian host is furthermore an important part of pandemic risk assessment. For these reasons, a guinea pig model of influenza virus transmission was developed in 2006. The guinea pig provides an important alternative to preexisting models for influenza. Most influenza viruses do not readily transmit among mice. Ferrets, while highly relevant, are expensive and can be difficult to obtain in high numbers. Moreover, it is generally accepted that efforts to accurately model human disease are strengthened by the use of multiple animal species. Herein, we provide an overview of influenza virus infectivity, growth, and transmission in the guinea pig and highlight knowledge gained on the topic of influenza virus transmission using the guinea pig model.Current topics in microbiology and immunology 07/2014; DOI:10.1007/82_2014_390 · 3.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background Ferrets have long been used as a disease model for the study of influenza vaccines, but a more recent use has been for the study of human monoclonal antibodies directed against influenza viruses. Published data suggest that human antibodies are cleared unusually quickly from the ferret and that immune responses may be partially responsible. This immunogenicity increases variability within groups and may present an obstacle to long-term studies. Objective Our aim was to identify an antibody design with reduced immunogenicity and longer circulating half-life in ferrets. Methods The constant region coding sequences for ferret immunoglobulin G were cloned, and chimeric human/ferret antibodies were expressed and purified. Some of the chimeric antibodies included substitutions that have been shown to extend the half-life of human IgG antibodies. These chimeric antibodies were tested for binding to recombinant ferret FcRn receptor and then evaluated in pharmacokinetic studies in ferrets. ResultsA one-residue substitution in the ferret Fc domain, S252Y, was identified that increased binding affinity to the ferret neonatal receptor by 24-fold and extended half-life from 6527 to 206 +/- 28hours or similar to 9days. Ferrets dosed twice with this surrogate antibody showed no indications of an immune response. Conclusion Expressing the variable region of a candidate human therapeutic antibody with ferret constant regions containing the S252Y substitution can offer long half-life and limit immunogenicity.Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 07/2014; 8(5). DOI:10.1111/irv.12273 · 1.90 Impact Factor