Because of the high variability of seasonal influenza viruses and the eminent threat of influenza viruses with pandemic potential, there is great interest in the development of vaccines that induce broadly protective immunity. Most probably, broadly protective influenza vaccines are based on conserved proteins, such as nucleoprotein (NP). NP is a vaccine target of interest as it has been shown to induce cross-reactive antibody and T cell responses. Here we tested and compared various NP-based vaccine preparations for their capacity to induce humoral and cellular immune responses to influenza virus NP. The immunogenicity of protein-based vaccine preparations with Matrix-M™ adjuvant as well as recombinant viral vaccine vector modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing the influenza virus NP gene, with or without modifications that aim at optimization of CD8+ T cell responses, was addressed in BALB/c mice. Addition of Matrix-M™ adjuvant to NP wild-type protein-based vaccines significantly improved T cell responses. Furthermore, recombinant MVA expressing the influenza virus NP induced strong antibody and CD8+ T cell responses, which could not be improved further by modifications of NP to increase antigen processing and presentation.

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Clinical and Experimental Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Altenburg, A., Magnusson, S.E. (S. E.), Bosman, F. (F.), Stertman, L. (L.), de Vries, R., & Rimmelzwaan, G. (2017). Protein and modified vaccinia virus Ankara-based influenza virus nucleoprotein vaccines are differentially immunogenic in BALB/c mice. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 190(1), 19–28. doi:10.1111/cei.13004