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Vaccine. 1998 May-Jun;16(9-10):1009-15.

Supplementation of conventional influenza A vaccine with purified viral neuraminidase results in a balanced and broadened immune response.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, New York Medical College, Valhalla 10595, USA.


Influenza virus neuraminidase was chromatographically extracted from A/Johannesburg/33/94 (H3N2) and used to supplement conventional monovalent H3JHN2JH inactivated influenza vaccine. Immunization of mice with this preparation resulted in high titers of antibodies to both hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) equivalent for each antigen to titers in animals immunized with either antigen alone. Homotypic infection was suppressed and greater reduction in viral replication was observed following heterotypic infectious challenge than was observed following the non-supplemented vaccine. There was no evidence of suppression of the immune response to the HA despite the presence of high amounts of NA in the vaccine. Supplementation of conventional inactivated influenza vaccine with NA takes advantage of the equivalent immunogenicity of dissociated HA and NA, to produce a more balanced immune response to both surface antigens, without the antigenic competition tht occurs after immunization with conventional vaccine or infection. These studies in a mouse model system suggest that supplementation of current inactivated influenza vaccines offers the prospect of improved immunization of humans against influenza.

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