FluGen Publishes another Vaccine Article

Single-replication BM2SR vaccine provides sterilizing immunity and cross-lineage influenza B virus protection in mice

a b s t r a c t
Both influenza A and B viruses cause outbreaks of seasonal influenza resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. There are two antigenically distinct lineages of influenza B virus, Yamagata lineage (YL) and Victoria lineage (VL). Since both B lineages have been co-circulating for years, more than 70% of influenza vaccines currently manufactured are quadrivalent consisting of influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), influenza B (YL) and influenza B (VL) antigens. Although quadrivalent influenza vaccines tend
to elevate immunity to both influenza B lineages, estimated overall vaccine efficacy against influenza B is still only around 42%. Thus, a more effective influenza B vaccine is needed.

To meet this need, we generated BM2-deficient, single-replication (BM2SR) influenza B vaccine viruses that encode surface antigens from influenza B/Wisconsin/01/2010 (B/WI01, YL) and B/Brisbane/60/2008 (B/Bris60, VL) viruses. The BM2SR-WI01 and BM2SR-Bris60 vaccine viruses are replication-deficient in vitro and in vivo, and can only replicate in a cell line that expresses the complementing BM2 protein. Both BM2SR viruses were non-pathogenic to mice, and vaccinated animals showed elevated mucosal and serum antibody responses to both Yamagata and Victoria lineages in addition to cellular responses. Serum antibody responses included lineage-specific hemagglutinin inhibition antibody (HAI) responses as well as responses to the stem region of the hemagglutinin (HA). BM2SR vaccine viruses provided apparent sterilizing immunity to mice against intra- and inter-lineage drifted B virus challenge. The data presented here support the feasibility of BM2SR as a platform for next-generation trivalent influenza
vaccine development.

 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-NDlicense