Home Acta Virologica 2011 Acta Virologica Vol.55, No.1, p.61-67, 2011

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Founded: 1957
ISSN 0001-723X
E-ISSN 1336-2305

Published in English

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Acta Virologica Vol.55, No.1, p.61-67, 2011

Title: Heterosubtypic protective immunity against influenza A virus induced by fusion peptide of the hemagglutinin in comparison to ectodomain of M2 protein

Abstract: Several types of influenza vaccines are available, but due to the highly unpredictable variability of influenza virus surface antigens (hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase) current vaccines are not sufficiently effective against broad spectrum of the influenza viruses. An innovative approach to extend the vaccine efficacy is based on the selection of conserved influenza proteins with a potential to induce inter-subtype protection against the influenza A viruses. A promising new candidate for the preparation of broadly protective vaccine may be a highly conserved N-terminal part of HA2 glycopolypeptide (HA2 gp) called fusion peptide. To study its capacity to induce a protective immune response, we immunized mice with the fusion peptide (aa 1–38 of HA2 gp). The protective ability of fusion peptide was compared with the ectodomain aa 2–23 of M2 protein (eM2) that is antigenically conserved and its immunogenic properties have already been well documented. Corresponding peptides (both derived from A/Mississippi/1/85 (H3N2) virus) were synthesized and conjugated to the keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and used for the immunization of mice. Both antigens induced a significant level of specific antibodies. Immunized mice were challenged with the lethal dose of homologous (H3N2) or heterologous A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) influenza A viruses. Immunization with the fusion peptide led to the 100% survival of mice infected with 1 LD50 of homologous as well as heterologous virus. Survival rate decreased when infectious dose was raised to 2 LD50. The immunization with eM2 induced effective cross-protection of mice infected even with 3 LD50 of both challenge viruses. The lower, but still effective protection induced by the fusion peptide of HA2 gp suggested that besides ectodomain of M2, fusion peptide could also be considered as a part of cross-protective influenza vaccine. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that active immunization with the conjugated fusion peptide of HA2 gp provided the effective production of antibodies, what contributed to the cross-protection against influenza infection.

Keywords: influenza A virus; immunogenicity; cross-protection; fusion peptide of hemagglutinin; M2 protein
Year: 2011, Volume: 55, Issue: 1 Page From: 61, Page To: 67
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