Immune efficacy of an adenoviral vector-based swine influenza vaccine against antigenically distinct H1N1 strains in mice

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Avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses are prevalent in pigs and have occasionally crossed the species barrier and infected humans, which highlights the importance of preventing swine influenza. Human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5) has been tested in human influenza vaccine clinical trials and has exhibited a reliable safety profile. Here, we generated a replication-defective, recombinant adenovirus (designated as rAd5-avH1HA) expressing the hemagglutinin gene of an avian-like H1N1 virus (A/swine/Zhejiang/199/2013, ZJ/199/13). Using a BALB/c mouse model, we showed that a two-dose intramuscular administration of recombinant rAd5-avH1HA induced high levels of hemagglutination inhibition antibodies and prevented homologous and heterologous H1N1 virus-induced weight loss, as well as viral replication in the nasal turbinates and lungs of mice. Furthermore, a prime–boost immunization strategy trial with a recombinant plasmid (designated as pCAGGS-HA) followed by rAd5-avH1HA vaccine provided effective protection against homologous and heterologous H1N1 virus infection in mice. These results indicate that rAd5-avH1HA is an efficacious genetically engineered vaccine candidate against H1N1 swine influenza. Future studies should examine its immune efficacy in pigs.HighlightsTwo-dose of rAd5-avH1HA can induce high-titer HI antibodies and provide protection against H1N1 virus infections in mice.A prime-boost immunization with pCAGGS-HA and rAd5-avH1HA provides excellent protection from H1N1 virus infections in mice.rAd5-avH1HA is an ideal genetically engineered vaccine candidate against H1N1 swine influenza.

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