Advanced Influenza Vaccine Technology: Mammalian Expression of Virus-like Particles Mimicking Authentic Viruses

Influenza A viruses are major human and animal pathogens with huge economic and societal impact from illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Virus-like particles (VLPs) of influenza virus have been suggested as a vaccine candidate offering improved safety and efficacy. To develop this concept further, we established a flexible platform to efficiently generate different subtypes of mammalian-expressed influenza VLPs. Here we provide compiling evidences that these mammalian VLPs strongly resemble the authentic viruses in structure, particle size and composition of host factors, and even glycosylation of viral antigens. Despite the fact that H5N1 vaccine is poor immunogenic thus requires 6 fold higher dose than seasonal influenza vaccine to cause seroconversion in human, H5N1-VLP at low dose (2.5 μg/mice) caused seroprotection and protected vaccinated mice from lethal viral challenge. Our data suggest the mammalian VLP system is of great potential to generate safe and effective vaccine against influenza virus.


Co-researchers:Chia-Ying Wu, Yi-Chun Yeh, Yu-Chih Yang, Ching Chou, Ming-Tsan Liu, Ho-Sheng Wu, Jia-Tsrong Chan, and (Pei-Wen Hsiao)*