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J Virol. 2019 Oct 15;93(21). pii: e01150-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01150-19. Print 2019 Nov 1.

Monoclonal Antibody Responses after Recombinant Hemagglutinin Vaccine versus Subunit Inactivated Influenza Virus Vaccine: a Comparative Study.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA carolehenry@uchicago.edu wilsonp@uchicago.edu.
2
Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
3
Center for Vaccine Biology & Immunology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.
4
Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.
5
Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.

Abstract

Vaccination is the best measure of protection against influenza virus infection. Vaccine-induced antibody responses target mainly the hemagglutinin (HA) surface glycoprotein, composed of the head and the stalk domains. Recently two novel vaccine platforms have been developed for seasonal influenza vaccination: a recombinant HA vaccine produced in insect cells (Flublok) and Flucelvax, prepared from virions produced in mammalian cells. In order to compare the fine specificity of the antibodies induced by these two novel vaccine platforms, we characterized 42 Flublok-induced monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and 38 Flucelvax-induced MAbs for avidity, cross-reactivity, and any selectivity toward the head versus the stalk domain. These studies revealed that Flublok induced a greater proportion of MAbs targeting epitopes near the receptor-binding domain on HA head (hemagglutinin inhibition-positive MAbs) than Flucelvax, while the two vaccines induced similar low frequencies of stalk-reactive MAbs. Finally, mice immunized with Flublok and Flucelvax also induced similar frequencies of stalk-reactive antibody-secreting cells, showing that HA head immunodominance is independent of immune memory bias. Collectively, our results suggest that these vaccine formulations are similarly immunogenic but differ in the preferences of the elicited antibodies toward the receptor-binding domain on the HA head.IMPORTANCE There are ongoing efforts to increase the efficacy of influenza vaccines and to promote production strategies that can rapidly respond to newly emerging viruses. It is important to understand if current alternative seasonal vaccines, such as Flublok and Flucelvax, that use alternate production strategies can induce protective influenza-specific antibodies and to evaluate what type of epitopes are targeted by distinct vaccine formulations.

KEYWORDS:

Flublok; Flucelvax; antibody responses; influenza vaccines

PMID:
31434733
PMCID:
PMC6803255
[Available on 2020-04-15]
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.01150-19

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