Since the first reports in early 2013, >440 human cases of infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported including 122 fatalities. After the isolation of the first A(H7N9) viruses, the nucleotide sequences became publically available. Based on the coding sequence of the influenza virus A/Shanghai/2/2013 hemag-glutinin gene, a codon-optimized gene was synthesized and cloned into a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). This MVA-H7-Sh2 viral vector was used to immunize ferrets and proved to be immuno-genic, even after a single immunization. Subsequently, ferrets were challenged with influenza virus A/Anhui/1/2013 via the intratracheal route. Unprotected animals that were mock vaccinated or received empty vector developed interstitial pneumonia characterized by a marked alveolitis, accompanied by loss of appetite, weight loss, and heavy breathing. In contrast, animals vaccinated with MVA-H7-Sh2 were protected from severe disease.

Influenza A(H7N9) virus, Modified vaccinia virus Ankara, Vaccine,
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Department of Virology

Kreijtz, J.H.C.M, Wiersma, L.C.M, De Gruyter, H.L.M, Vogelzang-van Trierum, S.E, van Amerongen, G, Stittelaar, K.J, … Rimmelzwaan, G.F. (2015). A single immunization with modified vaccinia virus Ankara-based influenza virus H7 vaccine affords protection in the influenza A(H7N9) pneumonia ferret model. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 211(5), 791–800. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiu528