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Sublingual administration of bacteria-expressed influenza virus hemagglutinin 1 (HA1) induces protection against infection with 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus

Shim, BS;Choi, JA;Song, HH;Park, SM;Cheon, IS;Jang, JE;Woo, SJ;Cho, CH;Song, MS;Kim, H;Song, KJ;Lee, JM;Kim, SW;Song, DS;Choi, YK;Kim, JO;Nguyen, HH;Kim, DW;Bahk, YY;Yun, CH;Song, MK;

Influenza viruses are respiratory pathogens that continue to pose a significantly high risk of morbidity and mortality of humans worldwide. Vaccination is one of the most effective strategies for minimizing damages by influenza outbreaks. In addition, rapid development and production of efficient vaccine with convenient administration is required in case of influenza pandemic. In this study, we generated recombinant influenza virus hemagglutinin protein 1 (sHA1) of 2009 pandemic influenza virus as a vaccine candidate using a well-established bacterial expression system and administered it into mice via sublingual (s.l.) route. We found that s.l. immunization with the recombinant sHA1 plus cholera toxin (CT) induced mucosal antibodies as well as systemic antibodies including neutralizing Abs and provided complete protection against infection with pandemic influenza virus A/CA/04/09 (H1N1) in mice. Indeed, the protection efficacy was comparable with that induced by intramuscular (i.m.) immunization route utilized as general administration route of influenza vaccine. These results suggest that s.l. vaccination with the recombinant non-glycosylated HA1 protein offers an alternative strategy to control influenza outbreaks including pandemics.