1887

Abstract

Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus continues to circulate worldwide without evidence of significant antigenic drift between 2009 and 2016. By using escape mutants, we previously identified six haemagglutinin (HA) changes (T80R, G143E, G158E, N159D, K166E and A198E) that were located within antigenic sites. Combinations of these mutations were introduced into the A(H1N1)pdm09 HA plasmid by mutagenesis. Reassortant 6 : 2 viruses containing both the HA and NA genes of the A(H1N1)pdm09 and the six internal gene segments of A/PR/8/34 were rescued by reverse genetics. , HA inhibition and microneutralization assays showed that the HA hexa-mutant reassortant virus (RG1) escaped A(H1N1)pdm09 hyper-immune ferret antiserum recognition. C57Black/6 mice that received the vaccine formulated with A/California/07/09 were challenged with 2×10 p.f.u. of either the 6 : 2 wild-type (WT) or RG1 viruses. Reductions in body weight loss, mortality rate and lung viral titre were observed in immunized animals challenged with the 6 : 2 WT virus compared to non-immunized mice. However, immunization did not protect mice challenged with RG1 virus. To further characterize the mutations causing this antigenic change, 11 additional RG viruses whose HA gene contained single or combinations of mutations were evaluated . Although the RG1 virus was still the least reactive against hyper-immune serum by HAI testing, mutations G158E and N159D within the Sa antigenic site appeared to play the major role in the altered antigenicity of the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus. These results show that the Sa antigenic site contains the most prominent epitopes susceptible to cause an antigenic drift, escaping actual vaccine protection.

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2017-06-01
2019-12-14
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