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J Infect Dis. 2009 Dec 15;200(12):1874-83. doi: 10.1086/648405.

A live attenuated H1N1 M1 mutant provides broad cross-protection against influenza A viruses, including highly pathogenic A/Vietnam/1203/2004, in mice.

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Laboratory of Respiratory Viral Diseases, Division of Viral Products, Office of Vaccine Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


The emergence of novel influenza A H1N1 and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses underscores the urgency of developing efficient vaccines against an imminent pandemic. M(NLS-88R) (H1N1), an A/WSN/33 mutant with modifications in the multibasic motif 101RKLKR105 of the matrix (M1) protein and its adjacent region, was generated by reverse genetics. The M(NLS-88R) mutant had in vitro growth characteristics similar to those of wild-type A/WSN/33 (wt-WSN), but it was attenuated in mice. Vaccination with M(NLS-88R) not only fully protected mice from lethal homologous challenges but also prevented mortality caused by antigenically distinct H3N2 and H5N1 viruses. M(NLS-88R)-induced homologous protection was mainly antibody dependent, but cellular immunity was also beneficial in protecting against sublethal wt-WSN infection. Adoptive transfer studies indicated that both humoral and cellular immune responses were crucial for M(NLS-88R)-induced heterologous protection. Our study suggests an alternative approach to attenuate wt influenza viruses for the development of a pandemic vaccine with broad cross-protection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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