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Abstract

The haemagglutinin (HA) of influenza A virus consists of two glycopolypeptides designated HA1 and HA2. Antibodies recognizing HA1 inhibit virus haemagglutination, neutralize virus infectivity and provide good protection against infection, but do not cross-react with the HA of other subtypes. Little is known regarding the biological activities of antibodies against HA2. To study the role of antibodies directed against HA2 during influenza virus infection, two vaccinia virus recombinants (rVVs) were used expressing chimeric molecules of HA, in which HA1 and HA2 were derived from different HA subtypes. The KG-11 recombinant expressed HA1 from A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus and HA2 from A/NT/60 (H3N2) virus, whilst KG-12 recombinant expressed HA1 from A/NT/60 virus and HA2 from A/PR/8/34 virus. Immunization of BALB/c mice with rVV expressing HA2 of the HA subtype homologous to the challenge virus [A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) or A/Mississippi/1/85 (H3N2)] did not prevent virus infection, but nevertheless resulted in an increase in mice survival and faster elimination of virus from the lungs. Passive immunization with antibodies purified from mice immunized with rVVs confirmed that antibodies against HA2 were responsible for the described effect on virus infection. Based on the facts that HA2 is a rather conserved part of the HA and that antibodies against HA2, as shown here, may moderate virus infection, future vaccine design should deal with the problem of how to increase the HA2 antibody response.

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2008-04-01
2019-11-12
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vol. , part 4, pp. 958 – 967

An example of Western blot titration of sera from mice immunized with rVV KG-11 (a) and KG-12 (b) and challenged with 0.7 LD of A/PR8 (H1N1) virus [ PDF] (373 KB)



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