Indexed on: 26 Feb '15Published on: 26 Feb '15Published in: The Journal of infectious diseases
An effective vaccine is urgently needed against the H7N9 avian influenza virus. We evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a split-virion H7N9 vaccine with or without the oil-in-water adjuvants in ferrets.Ferrets were vaccinated with 2 doses of unadjuvanted, MF59 or AS03-adjuvanted A/Shanghai/2/2013 (H7N9) vaccine, and the induction of antibodies to hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase proteins was evaluated. Ferrets were then challenged with wild-type H7N9 virus to assess the vaccine's protective efficacy. The vaccine composition and integrity was also evaluated in vitro.Adjuvanted vaccines stimulated robust serum antibody titers against HA and neuraminidase compared with the unadjuvanted vaccines. Although there was a difference in adjuvanticity between AS03 and MF59 at a lower dose (3.75 µg of HA), both adjuvants induced comparable antibody responses after 2 doses of 15 µg. On challenge, ferrets that received adjuvanted vaccines showed lower viral burden than the control or unadjuvanted vaccine group. In vitro examinations revealed that the vaccine contained visible split-virus particles and retained the native conformation of HA recognizable by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.The adjuvanted H7N9 vaccines demonstrated superior immunogenicity and protective efficacy against H7N9 infection in ferrets and hold potential as a vaccination regimen.