[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The A/H1N1/2009 influenza pandemic made evident the need for faster and higher-yield methods for the production of influenza vaccines. Platforms based on virus culture in mammalian or insect cells are currently under investigation. Alternatively, expression of fragments of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein in prokaryotic systems can potentially be the most efficacious strategy for the manufacture of large quantities of influenza vaccine in a short period of time. Despite experimental evidence on the immunogenic potential of HA protein constructs expressed in bacteria, it is still generally accepted that glycosylation should be a requirement for vaccine efficacy.
We expressed the globular HA receptor binding domain, referred to here as HA(63-286)-RBD, of the influenza A/H1N1/2009 virus in Escherichia coli using a simple, robust and scalable process. The recombinant protein was refolded and purified from the insoluble fraction of the cellular lysate as a single species. Recombinant HA(63-286)-RBD appears to be properly folded, as shown by analytical ultracentrifugation and bio-recognition assays. It binds specifically to serum antibodies from influenza A/H1N1/2009 patients and was found to be immunogenic, to be capable of triggering the production of neutralizing antibodies, and to have protective activity in the ferret model.
Projections based on our production/purification data indicate that this strategy could yield up to half a billion doses of vaccine per month in a medium-scale pharmaceutical production facility equipped for bacterial culture. Also, our findings demonstrate that glycosylation is not a mandatory requirement for influenza vaccine efficacy.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11694. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it has been estimated that pandemic Influenza A H1N1/2009 has infected millions of people from April to October 2009, a more precise figure requires a worldwide large-scale diagnosis of the presence of Influenza A/H1N1/2009 antibodies within the population. Assays typically used to estimate antibody titers (hemagglutination inhibition and microneutralization) would require the use of the virus, which would seriously limit broad implementation.
An ELISA method to evaluate the presence and relative concentration of specific Influenza A/H1N1/2009 antibodies in human serum samples is presented. The method is based on the use of a histidine-tagged recombinant fragment of the globular region of the hemagglutinin (HA) of the Influenza A H1N1/2009 virus expressed in E. coli.
The ELISA method consistently discerns between Inf A H1N1 infected and non-infected subjects, particularly after the third week of infection/exposure. Since it does not require the use of viral particles, it can be easily and quickly implemented in any basic laboratory. In addition, in a scenario of insufficient vaccine availability, the use of this ELISA could be useful to determine if a person has some level of specific antibodies against the virus and presumably at least partial protection.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(4):e10176. · 3.73 Impact Factor