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Seasonal Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Protects against 1918 Spanish Influenza Virus Infection in Ferrets

Pearce, Melissa B., Belser, Jessica A., Gustin, Kortney M., Pappas, Claudia, Houser, Katherine V., Sun, Xiangjie, Maines, Taronna R., Pantin-Jackwood, Mary J., Katz, Jacqueline M., Tumpey, Terrence M.
Journal of virology 2012 v.86 no.13 pp. 7118
Influenza A virus, biosafety, biosecurity, epitopes, ferrets, fever, hemagglutinins, immunization, influenza, neutralizing antibodies, pandemic, vaccines, viral shedding, viruses, weight loss
The influenza virus H1N1 pandemic of 1918 was one of the worst medical catastrophes in human history. Recent studies have demonstrated that the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the 1918 virus and 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus [A(H1N1)pdm09], the latter now a component of the seasonal trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV), share cross-reactive antigenic determinants. In this study, we demonstrate that immunization with the 2010-2011 seasonal TIV induces neutralizing antibodies that cross-react with the reconstructed 1918 pandemic virus in ferrets. TIV-immunized ferrets subsequently challenged with the 1918 virus displayed significant reductions in fever, weight loss, and virus shedding compared to these parameters in nonimmune control ferrets. Seasonal TIV was also effective in protecting against the lung infection and severe lung pathology associated with 1918 virus infection. Our data demonstrate that prior immunization with contemporary TIV provides cross-protection against the 1918 virus in ferrets. These findings suggest that exposure to A(H1N1)pdm09 through immunization may provide protection against the reconstructed 1918 virus which, as a select agent, is considered to pose both biosafety and biosecurity threats.