Since 2003, the number of human cases of infections with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype is still increasing, and, therefore, the development of safe and effective vaccines is considered a priority. However, the global production capacity of conventional vaccines is limited and insufficient for a worldwide vaccination campaign. In the present study, an alternative H5N1 vaccine candidate based on the replication-deficient modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) was evaluated. C57BL/6J mice were immunized twice with MVA expressing the hemagglutinin (HA) gene from influenza virus A/Hongkong/156/97 (MVA-HA-HK/97) or A/Vietnam/1194/04 (MVA-HA-VN/04). Subsequently, recombinant MVA-induced protective immunity was assessed after challenge infection with 3 antigenically distinct strains of H5N1 influenza viruses: A/Hongkong/156/97, A/Vietnam/1194/04, and A/Indonesia/5/05. Our data suggest that recombinant MVA expressing the HA of influenza virus A/Vietnam/1194/04 is a promising alternative vaccine candidate that could be used for the induction of protective immunity against various H5N1 influenza strains.

dx.doi.org/10.1086/517614, hdl.handle.net/1765/35381
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Kreijtz, J.H.C.M, Suezer, Y, van Amerongen, G, de Mutsert, G, Schnierle, B.S, Wood, J.M, … Rimmelzwaan, G.F. (2007). Recombinant modified vaccinia virus ankara-based vaccine induces protective immunity in mice against infection with influenza virus H5N1. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 195(11), 1598–1606. doi:10.1086/517614