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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21942. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021942. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Influenza H5 hemagglutinin DNA primes the antibody response elicited by the live attenuated influenza A/Vietnam/1203/2004 vaccine in ferrets.

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MedImmune, Mountain View, California, United States of America.


Priming immunization plays a key role in protecting individuals or populations to influenza viruses that are novel to humans. To identify the most promising vaccine priming strategy, we have evaluated different prime-boost regimens using inactivated, DNA and live attenuated vaccines in ferrets. Live attenuated influenza A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) candidate vaccine (LAIV, VN04 ca) primed ferrets efficiently while inactivated H5N1 vaccine could not prime the immune response in seronegative ferrets unless an adjuvant was used. However, the H5 HA DNA vaccine alone was as successful as an adjuvanted inactivated VN04 vaccine in priming the immune response to VN04 ca virus. The serum antibody titers of ferrets primed with H5 HA DNA followed by intranasal vaccination of VN04 ca virus were comparable to that induced by two doses of VN04 ca virus. Both LAIV-LAIV and DNA-LAIV vaccine regimens could induce antibody responses that cross-neutralized antigenically distinct H5N1 virus isolates including A/HongKong/213/2003 (HK03) and prevented nasal infection of HK03 vaccine virus. Thus, H5 HA DNA vaccination may offer an alternative option for pandemic preparedness.

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