[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human influenza A virus (IAV) vaccination is limited by "antigenic drift," rapid antibody-driven escape reflecting amino acid substitutions in the globular domain of hemagglutinin (HA), the viral attachment protein. To better understand drift, we used anti-hemagglutinin monoclonal Abs (mAbs) to sequentially select IAV escape mutants. Twelve selection steps, each resulting in a single amino acid substitution in the hemagglutinin globular domain, were required to eliminate antigenicity defined by monoclonal or polyclonal Abs. Sequential mutants grow robustly, showing the structural plasticity of HA, although several hemagglutinin substitutions required an epistatic substitution in the neuraminidase glycoprotein to maximize growth. Selecting escape mutants from parental versus sequential variants with the same mAb revealed distinct escape repertoires, attributed to contextual changes in antigenicity and the mutation landscape. Since each hemagglutinin mutation potentially sculpts future mutation space, drift can follow many stochastic paths, undermining its unpredictability and underscoring the need for drift-insensitive vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The licensed live attenuated influenza A vaccine (LAIV) in the United States is created by making a reassortant containing six internal genes from a cold-adapted master donor strain (ca A/AA/6/60) and two surface glycoprotein genes from a circulating/emerging strain (e.g., A/CA/7/09 for the 2009/2010 H1N1 pandemic). Technologies to rapidly create recombinant viruses directly from patient specimens were used to engineer alternative LAIV candidates that have genomes composed entirely of vRNAs from pandemic or seasonal strains. Multiple mutations involved in the temperature-sensitive (ts) phenotype of the ca A/AA/6/60 master donor strain were introduced into a 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain rA/New York/1682/2009 (rNY1682-WT) to create rNY1682-TS1, and additional mutations identified in other ts viruses were added to rNY1682-TS1 to create rNY1682-TS2. Both rNY1682-TS1 and rNY1682-TS2 replicated efficiently at 30°C and 33°C. However, rNY1682-TS1 was partially restricted, and rNY1682-TS2 was completely restricted at 39°C. Additionally, engineering the TS1 or TS2 mutations into a distantly related human seasonal H1N1 influenza A virus also resulted pronounced restriction of replication in vitro. Clinical symptoms and virus replication in the lungs of mice showed that although rNY1682-TS2 and the licensed FluMist(®)-H1N1pdm LAIV that was used to combat the 2009/2010 pandemic were similarly attenuated, the rNY1682-TS2 was more protective upon challenge with a virulent mutant of pandemic H1N1 virus or a heterologous H1N1 (A/PR/8/1934) virus. This study demonstrates that engineering key temperature sensitive mutations (PB1-K391E, D581G, A661T; PB2-P112S, N265S, N556D, Y658H) into the genomes of influenza A viruses attenuates divergent human virus lineages and provides an alternative strategy for the generation of LAIVs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although vaccines against influenza A virus are the most effective method to combat infection, it is clear that their production needs to be accelerated and their efficacy improved. We generated live attenuated human influenza A vaccines (LAIVs) by rationally engineering mutations directly into the genome of a pandemic-H1N1 virus. Two LAIVs (NS1-73 and NS1-126) were based on the success of LAIVs for animal influenza A viruses. A third candidate (NSΔ5) is a unique NS-mutant that has never been used as a LAIV. The vaccine potential of each LAIV was determined through analysis of attenuation, interferon production, immunogenicity, and their ability to protect mice and ferrets. This study demonstrates that NSΔ5 is an ideal LAIV candidate, provides important information on the effects that different NS mutations have on the pandemic-H1N1 virus and shows that LAIVs can be engineered directly from the genomes of emerging/circulating influenza A viruses.