[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell culture is now available as a method for the production of influenza vaccines in addition to eggs. In accordance with currently accepted practice, viruses recommended as candidates for vaccine manufacture are isolated and propagated exclusively in hens’ eggs prior to distribution to manufacturers. Candidate vaccine viruses isolated in cell culture are not available to support vaccine manufacturing in mammalian cell bioreactors so egg-derived viruses have to be used. Recently influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been difficult to isolate directly in eggs. As mitigation against this difficulty, and the possibility of no suitable egg-isolated candidate viruses being available, it is proposed to consider using mammalian cell lines for primary isolation of influenza viruses as candidates for vaccine production in egg and cell platforms.
To investigate this possibility, we tested the antigenic stability of viruses isolated and propagated in cell lines qualified for influenza vaccine manufacture and subsequently investigated antigen yields of such viruses in these cell lines at pilot-scale. Twenty influenza A and B-positive, original clinical specimens were inoculated in three MDCK cell lines. The antigenicity of recovered viruses was tested by hemagglutination inhibition using ferret sera against contemporary vaccine viruses and the amino acid sequences of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase were determined. MDCK cell lines proved to be highly sensitive for virus isolation. Compared to the virus sequenced from the original specimen, viruses passaged three times in the MDCK lines showed up to 2 amino acid changes in the hemagglutinin. Antigenic stability was also established by hemagglutination inhibition titers comparable to those of the corresponding reference virus. Viruses isolated in any of the three MDCK lines grew reasonably well but variably in three MDCK cells and in VERO cells at pilot-scale. These results indicate that influenza viruses isolated in vaccine certified cell lines may well qualify for use in vaccine production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in instrumentation and data analysis in field flow fractionation and multi-angle light scattering (FFF-MALS) have enabled greater use of this technique to characterize and quantitate viruses. In this study, the FFF-MALS technique was applied to the characterization and quantitation of type A influenza virus particles to assess its usefulness for vaccine preparation. The use of FFF-MALS for quantitation and measurement of control particles provided data accurate to within 5% of known values, reproducible with a coefficient of variation of 1.9%. The methods, sensitivity and limit of detection were established by analyzing different volumes of purified virus, which produced a linear regression with fitting value R(2) of 0.99. FFF-MALS was further applied to detect and quantitate influenza virus in the supernatant of infected MDCK cells and allantoic fluids of infected eggs. FFF fractograms of the virus present in these different fluids revealed similar distribution of monomeric and oligomeric virions. However, the monomer fraction of cell grown virus has greater size variety. Notably, β-propialactone (BPL) inactivation of influenza viruses did not influence any of the FFF-MALS measurements. Quantitation analysis by FFF-MALS was compared to infectivity assays and real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and the limitations of each assay were discussed.
Journal of virological methods 07/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunization of the world population before an influenza pandemic such as the 2009 H1N1 virus spreads globally is not possible with current vaccine production platforms. New influenza vaccine technologies, such as virus-like-particles (VLPs), offer a promising alternative. Here, we tested the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a VLP vaccine containing hemagglutinin (HA) and M1 from the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (H1N1pdm) in ferrets and compared intramuscular (i.m.) and intranasal (i.n.) routes of immunization. Vaccination of ferrets with VLPs containing the M1 and HA proteins from A/California/04/2009 (H1N1pdm) induced high antibody titers and conferred significant protection against virus challenge. VLP-vaccinated animals lost less weight, shed less virus in nasal washes, and had markedly lower virus titers in all organs tested than naïve controls. A single dose of VLPs, either i.m. or i.n., induced higher levels of antibody than did two doses of commercial split vaccine. Ferrets vaccinated with split vaccine were incompletely protected against challenge; these animals had lower virus titers in olfactory bulbs, tonsils, and intestines, but lost weight and shed virus in nasal washes to a similar extent as naïve controls. Challenge with heterologous A/Brisbane/59/07 (H1N1) virus revealed that the VLPs conferred minimal cross-protection to heterologous infection, as revealed by the lack of reduction in nasal wash and lung virus titers and slightly higher weight loss relative to controls. In summary, these experiments demonstrate the strong immunogenicity and protective efficacy of VLPs compared to the split vaccine and show that i.n. vaccination with VLPs has the potential for highly efficacious vaccination against influenza.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NS1 protein of human influenza A viruses binds the 30-kDa subunit of the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF30), a protein required for 3' end processing of cellular pre-mRNAs, thereby inhibiting production of beta interferon (IFN-β) mRNA. The NS1 proteins of pathogenic 1997 H5N1 viruses contain the CPSF30-binding site but lack the consensus amino acids at positions 103 and 106, F and M, respectively, that are required for the stabilization of CPSF30 binding, resulting in nonoptimal CPSF30 binding in infected cells. Here we have demonstrated that strengthening CPSF30 binding, by changing positions 103 and 106 in the 1997 H5N1 NS1 protein to the consensus amino acids, results in a remarkable 300-fold increase in the lethality of the virus in mice. Unexpectedly, this increase in virulence is not associated with increased lung pathology but rather is characterized by faster systemic spread of the virus, particularly to the brain, where increased replication and severe pathology occur. This increased spread is associated with increased cytokine and chemokine levels in extrapulmonary tissues. We conclude that strengthening CPSF30 binding by the NS1 protein of 1997 H5N1 viruses enhances virulence in mice by increasing the systemic spread of the virus from the lungs, particularly to the brain.
Journal of Virology 07/2011; 85(14):7048-58. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop a more effective vaccination method against H5N1 virus, we investigated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy after skin vaccination using microneedles coated with influenza virus-like particles containing hemagglutinin derived from A/Vietnam/1203/04 H5N1 virus (H5 VLPs). A single microneedle vaccination of mice with H5 VLPs induced increased levels of antibodies and provided complete protection against lethal challenge without apparent disease symptoms. In contrast, intramuscular injection with the same vaccine dose showed low levels of antibodies and provided only partial protection accompanied by severe body weight loss. Post-challenge analysis suggested that improved protection was associated with lower lung viral titers and enhanced generation of recall antibody secreting cells by microneedle vaccination. Thus, this study provides evidence that skin delivery of H5 VLP vaccines using microneedles designed for self-administration induces improved protection compared to conventional intramuscular immunization.
Antiviral research 11/2010; 88(2):244-7. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus diagnosis has traditionally relied on virus isolation in chicken embryo or cell cultures. Many laboratories have adopted rapid molecular methods for detection of influenza viruses and discontinued routine utilization of the relatively slow viral culture methods. We describe an influenza A virus reporter cell line that contributes to more efficient viral detection in cell culture. Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells were engineered to constitutively produce an influenza virus genome-like luciferase reporter RNA driven by the canine RNA polymerase I promoter. Induction of a high level of luciferase activity was detected in the Luc9.1 cells upon infection with various strains of influenza A virus, including 2009 H1N1 pandemic and highly pathogenic H5N1 virus. In contrast, infection with influenza B virus or human adenovirus type 5 did not induce significant levels of reporter expression. The reporter Luc9.1 cells were evaluated in neutralizing antibody assays with convalescent H3N2 ferret serum, yielding a neutralization titer comparable to that obtained by the conventional microneutralization assay, suggesting that the use of the reporter cell line might simplify neutralization assays by facilitating the establishment of infectious virus endpoints. Luc9.1 cells were also used to determine the susceptibility of influenza A viruses to a model antiviral drug. The equivalence to conventional antiviral assay results indicated that the Luc9.1 cells could provide an alternative cell-based platform for high-throughput drug discovery screens. In summary, the MDCK-derived Luc9.1 reporter cell line is highly permissive for influenza A virus replication and provides a very specific and sensitive approach for simultaneous detection and isolation of influenza A viruses as well as functional evaluation of antibodies and antiviral molecules.
Journal of clinical microbiology 07/2010; 48(7):2515-23. · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that infection with laboratory-passaged strains of influenza virus causes both specific degradation of the largest subunit of the RNA polymerase II complex (RNAP II) and inhibition of host cell transcription. When infection with natural human and avian isolates belonging to different antigenic subtypes was examined, we observed that all of these viruses efficiently induce the proteolytic process. To evaluate whether this process is a general feature of nonattenuated viruses, we studied the behavior of the influenza virus strains A/PR8/8/34 (PR8) and the cold-adapted A/Ann Arbor/6/60 (AA), which are currently used as the donor strains for vaccine seeds due to their attenuated phenotype. We have observed that upon infection with these strains, degradation of the RNAP II does not occur. Moreover, by runoff experiments we observe that PR8 has a reduced ability to inhibit cellular mRNA transcription. In addition, a hypervirulent PR8 (hvPR8) variant that multiplies much faster than standard PR8 (lvPR8) in infected cells and is more virulent in mice than the parental PR8 virus, efficiently induces RNAP II degradation. Studies with reassortant viruses containing defined genome segments of both hvPR8 and lvPR8 indicate that PA and PB2 subunits individually contribute to the ability of influenza virus to degrade the RNAP II. In addition, recently it has been reported that the inclusion of PA or PB2 from hvPR8 in lvPR8 recombinant viruses, highly increases their pathogenicity. Together, the data indicate that the capacity of the influenza virus to degrade RNAP II and inhibit the host cell transcription machinery is a feature of influenza A viruses that might contribute to their virulence.
Journal of Virology 09/2009; 83(21):11166-74. · 5.08 Impact Factor