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Viral Immunol. 2014 Feb;27(1):14-9. doi: 10.1089/vim.2013.0080. Epub 2014 Jan 9.

DNA-epitope vaccine provided efficient protection to mice against lethal dose of influenza A virus H1N1.

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1 Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana.


Swine influenza virus (SIV) is a fast-evolving viral pathogen in pig populations. However, commercial vaccines, based on inactivated viruses, cannot provide complete protection with induced humoral immunity only and require frequent updates to fight against current isolates. A DNA vaccine delivering conservative epitopes was designed in this study in the hope of meeting the need. In this study, a B-cell epitope (HA2.30-130), a quadruplicated Th-cell epitope (NP55-69), and a quadruplicated CTL epitope (NP147-158) were fused separately to the C-terminal of VP22c gene in the modified pcDNA3.1 plasmid. The expression of epitopes was confirmed by in vitro transfection of 293FT cells. The DNA vaccine administered intramuscularly stimulated epitope-specific immunity against the two T-cell epitopes in all ten mice before the virus challenge. Only two out of ten mice were ELISA positive against the B-cell epitope. All vaccinated mice survived a lethal dose of virus challenge, while all mice in the challenge control group died. The DNA vaccine delivering epitopes in this study showed promising protection against influenza virus in an animal model; however, more work needs to be done to evaluate the best conserved protective epitopes which can be applied in developing a universal DNA vaccine.

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