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Vaccine. 2005 Dec 30;23(50):5751-9. Epub 2005 Aug 15.

Influenza virus-like particles comprised of the HA, NA, and M1 proteins of H9N2 influenza virus induce protective immune responses in BALB/c mice.

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Novavax, Inc., Vaccine Technologies, 1 Taft Court, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.


Avian influenza viruses represent a growing threat for an influenza pandemic. To develop recombinant vaccine for avian influenza of the H9N2 subtype, we expressed in insect cells virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of three structural proteins of influenza A/Hong Kong/1073/99 (H9N2) virus. Upon infection of Sf9 cells with recombinant baculoviruses, the hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), and matrix (M1) proteins were co-expressed in the infected cells, self-assembled, and released into the culture medium as VLPs of 80-120nm in diameter. VLPs exhibited functional characteristics of influenza virus including hemagglutination and neuraminidase activities. In BALB/c mice, VLPs elicited serum antibodies specific for influenza A/Hong Kong/1073/99 (H9N2) virus and inhibited replication of the influenza virus after challenge. Thus, VLPs represent a potential strategy for the development of human vaccines against avian influenza H9N2 viruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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