We have recently shown that intranasal (i.n.) administration of -irradiated A/PR/8 [A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1)] protects mice against lethal avian influenza A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) and other heterosubtypic influenza A infections. Here, we used -irradiated, formalin- and UV-inactivated A/PC [A/Port Chalmers/1/73 (H3N2)] virus preparations and compared their ability to induce both homologous and heterosubtypic protective immunity. Our data show that, in contrast to i.n. vaccination with formalin- or UV-inactivated virus, or the present commercially available trivalent influenza vaccine, a single dose of -ray-inactivated A/PC (-A/PC) conferred significant protection in mice against both homologous and heterosubtypic virus challenges. A multiple immunization regime was required for formalin-inactivated virus preparations to induce protective immunity against a homotypic virus challenge, but did not induce influenza A strain cross-protective immunity. The highly immunogenic -A/PC, but not formalin- or UV-inactivated A/PC, nor the currently available subvirion vaccine, elicited cytotoxic T-cell responses that are most likely responsible for the cross-protective and long-lasting immunity against highly lethal influenza A infections in mice. Finally, freeze-drying of -A/PC did not affect the ability to induce cross-protective immunity.


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Haemagglutination activity of live and inactivated influenza virus A/PC preparations [PDF](15 KB)

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