Main content area

Preparation-free method can enable rapid surfactant screening during industrial processing of influenza vaccines

Sahin, Ziya, Neeleman, Ronald, Haines, Jonathan, Kayser, Veysel
Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.8 pp. 1073-1079
antigens, biopharmaceuticals, decision making, filtration, influenza, influenza vaccines, octoxynol, processing technology, screening, surfactants, toxicity, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, viral proteins, viruses
Triton X-100 (TX-100) is the most common surfactant used to split viruses during the production of influenza split-virus vaccines. It is a mild surfactant not known to denature the viral proteins; this property makes TX-100 useful for maintaining antigen conformational structure, and, as an added benefit, for partially stabilizing vaccine formulations against protein aggregation. Despite its benefits, TX-100 needs to be filtered out after virus splitting has been achieved, due to its toxicity in large quantities. Accordingly, residual TX-100 presence in vaccine formulations has implications for both formulation stability and safety, necessitating both accurate screening during processing to guide decision-making about filtration repeats and accurate quantitation in the final product. Accurate HPLC-based methods are used successfully for the latter but their use for routine screening during processing is far from ideal because they often require extensive sample preparation and are fairly slow, complicated and costly. Here, “deconstruction” of UV–Vis absorption spectra into components corresponding to different absorbing “species” is demonstrated as a novel and viable method for routine TX-100 screening in vaccine samples from different industrial processing steps. This method is fairly accurate and, more importantly, preparation-free, rapid, simple/user-friendly and comparatively inexpensive. It is evaluated in depth in terms of applicability conditions, limitations and potential for high-throughput adaptation as well as generalization to other complex biopharmaceutical formulations.