Background and Objectives: Influenza A viruses cause highly contagious diseases in a variety of hosts, including humans and pigs. To develop a vaccine that can be broadly effective against genetically divergent strains of the virus, in this study we employed molecular breeding (DNA shuffling) technology to create a panel of chimeric HA genes. Methods and Results: Each chimeric HA gene contained genetic elements from parental swine influenza A viruses that had a history of zoonotic transmission, and also from a 2009 pandemic virus. Each parental virus represents a major phylogenetic clade of influenza A H1N1 viruses. Nine shuffled HA constructs were initially screened for immunogenicity in mice by DNA immunization, and one chimeric HA (HA-129) was expressed on both a A/Puerto Rico/8/34 backbone with mutations associated with a live, attenuated phenotype (PR8LAIV- 129) and a A/swine/Texas/4199-2/98 backbone (TX98-129). When delivered to mice, the PR8LAIV- 129 induced antibodies against all four parental viruses, which was similar to the breadth of immunity observed when HA-129 was delivered as a DNA vaccine. This chimeric HA was then tested as a candidate vaccine in a nursery pig model, using inactivated TX98-129 virus as the backbone. The results demonstrate that pigs immunized with HA-129 developed antibodies against all four parental viruses, as well as additional primary swine H1N1 influenza virus field isolates. Conclusion: This study established a platform for creating novel genes of influenza viruses using a molecular breeding approach, which will have important applications toward future development of broadly protective influenza virus vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)