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Orth an der Donau, Austria

Hessel A.,Vaccine RandD | Savidis-Dacho H.,Pharmacology | Coulibaly S.,Pharmacology | Portsmouth D.,Vaccine RandD | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The availability of a universal influenza vaccine able to induce broad cross-reactive immune responses against diverse influenza viruses would provide an alternative to currently available strain-specific vaccines. We evaluated the ability of vectors based on modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) expressing conserved influenza proteins to protect mice against lethal challenge with multiple influenza subtypes. Methods: Mice were immunized with MVA vectors expressing H5N1-derived nucleoprotein (NP), the stem region of hemagglutinin (HA), matrix proteins 1 and 2 (M1 and M2), the viral polymerase basic protein 1 (PB1), or the HA stem fused to a quadrivalent matrix protein 2 extracellular domain (M2e). Immunized mice were challenged with lethal doses of H5N1, H7N1 or H9N2 virus and monitored for disease symptoms and weight loss. To investigate the influence of previous exposure to influenza virus on protective immune responses induced by conserved influenza proteins, mice were infected with pandemic H1N1 virus (H1N1pdm09) prior to immunization and subsequently challenged with H5N1 virus. Antibody and T cell responses were assessed by ELISA and flow cytometry, respectively. Results: MVA vectors expressing NP alone, or co-expressed with other conserved influenza proteins, protected mice against lethal challenge with H5N1, H7N1 or H9N2 virus. Pre-exposure to H1N1pdm09 increased protective efficacy against lethal H5N1 challenge. None of the other conserved influenza proteins provided significant levels of protection against lethal challenge. NP-expressing vectors induced high numbers of influenza-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and high titer influenzaspecific antibody responses. Higher influenza-specific CD4+ T cell responses and NP-specific CD8+ T cell responses were associated with increased protective efficacy. Conclusions: MVA vectors expressing influenza NP protect mice against lethal challenge with H5N1, H7N1 and H9N2 viruses by a mechanism involving influenza-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. © 2014 Hessel et al. Source

Hohenadl C.,Vaccine RandD | Wodal W.,Vaccine RandD | Kerschbaum A.,Vaccine RandD | Fritz R.,Vaccine RandD | And 8 more authors.
Virology Journal | Year: 2014

Background: Convalescent plasma and fractionated immunoglobulins have been suggested as prophylactic or therapeutic interventions during an influenza pandemic. Findings. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) preparations manufactured from human plasma collected before the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and post-pandemic hyperimmune (H)-IVIG preparations were characterized with respect to hemagglutination inhibition (HI), microneutralization (MN) and neuraminidase-inhibiting (NAi) antibody titers against pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) and seasonal H1N1 (sH1N1) viruses. The protective efficacy of the IVIG and H-IVIG preparations was evaluated in a SCID mouse challenge model.Substantial levels of HI, MN and NAi antibodies against pH1N1 (GMTs 1:45, 1:204 and 1: 727, respectively) and sH1N1 (GMTs 1:688, 1:4,946 and 1:312, respectively) were present in pre-pandemic IVIG preparations. In post-pandemic H-IVIG preparations, HI, MN and NAi antibody GMTs against pH1N1 were 1:1,280, 1:11,404 and 1:2,488 (28-, 56- and 3.4-fold enriched), respectively, compared to pre-pandemic IVIG preparations (p < 0.001). Post-pandemic H-IVIG (HI titer 1:1,280) provided complete protection from lethality of SCID mice against pH1N1 challenge (100% of mice survived for 29 days post-challenge). Pre-pandemic IVIG (HI titer 1:70) did not provide significant protection against pH1N1 challenge (50% of mice survived 29 days post-challenge compared to 40% survival in the buffer control group). There was a highly significant correlation between circulating in vivo HI and MN antibody titers and survival (p < 0001). Conclusion: The substantial enrichment of HA- and NA-specific antibodies in H-IVIG and the efficacious protection of SCID mice against challenge with pH1N1 suggests H-IVIG as a promising intervention against pandemic influenza for immunocompromised patients and other risk groups. © 2014 Hohenadl et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

O'Rourke M.,Vaccine RandD | Traweger A.,Vaccine RandD | Traweger A.,Paracelsus Medical University | Lusa L.,Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. afzelii, B. garinii and B. bavariensis are the principal species which account for Lyme borreliosis (LB) globally. We have developed an internally controlled duplex quantitative real time PCR assay targeting the Borrelia 16S rRNA and the human RNAseP genes. This assay is well-suited for laboratory confirmation of suspected cases of LB and will be used to assess the efficacy of a vaccine against LB in clinical trials. The assay is highly specific, successfully detecting DNA extracted from 83 diverse B. burgdorferi sensu lato strains representing all major species causing LB, while 21 unrelated microbial species and human genomic DNA tested negative. The assay was highly reproducible and sensitive, with a lower limit of detection of 6 copies per PCR reaction. Together with culture, the assay was used to evaluate paired 3 mm skin biopsy samples taken from 121 patients presenting with solitary erythema migrans (EM) lesion. PCR testing identified more positive biopsy samples than culture (77.7% PCR positive versus 55.1% culture positive) and correctly identified all specimens scored as culture positive. OspA-based typing identified the majority of isolates as B. afzelii (96.8%) and the bacterial load was significantly higher in culture positive biopsies than in culture negative biopsies (P<0.001). The quantitative data also enabled relationships between Borrelia burden and patient symptoms to be evaluated. The bacterial load was significantly higher among patients with systemic symptoms than without (P = 0.02) and was significantly higher for biopsies retrieved from patients with EM lesions with central clearing (P<0.001). 16S copy numbers were moderately lower in samples from patients reporting a history of LB (P = 0.10). This is the first quantitative PCR study of human skin biopsies predominantly infected with B. afzelii and the first study to demonstrate a clear relationship between clinical symptoms in B. afzelii-infected patients and Borrelia burden. © 2013 O'Rourke et al. Source

Schwendinger M.G.,Vaccine RandD | O'Rourke M.,Vaccine RandD | Traweger A.,Vaccine RandD | Traweger A.,Paracelsus Medical University | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: For clinical development of a novel multivalent OspA vaccine against Lyme borreliosis, serological assays are required which can be used to establish immune correlates of protection against infection with Borrelia. Methods: Four assays (an OspA IgG ELISA, a competitive inhibition (CI) ELISA, a Borrelia surface-binding (SB) assay and a Borrelia killing assay) were used to evaluate the correlation between immune responses induced by rOspA 1/2 (a chimeric immunogen containing protective epitopes from OspA serotypes 1 and 2), and protective immunity against infection by B. burgdorferi s.s. (OspA-1) and B. afzelii (OspA-2). Mice were immunized with OspA 1/2 doses ranging from 0.3 ng to 100 ng, to induce a range of OspA antibody titers, and exposed to needle challenge with B. burgdorferi s.s. or tick challenge with B. afzelii. Receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed for each assay, and the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity and Youden Index were calculated. Potential cutoff antibody titers which could be used as correlates of vaccine-induced protection were derived from the maximum Youden Index. Results: Immunization with OspA-1/2 provided dose-dependent protection against infection with B. burgdorferi s.s. and B. afzelii. Antibody responses detected by all four assays were highly significantly correlated with protection from infection by either B. burgdorferi s.s. (p<0.0001 to 0.0062) or B. afzelii (p<0.0001). ROC analyses of the diagnostic effectiveness of each assay showed the AUC to range between 0.95 and 0.79, demonstrating that all assays distinguish well between infected and non-infected animals. Based on sensitivity, specificity and AUC, the OspA IgG ELISA and SB assays best discriminated between infected and non-infected animals. Conclusions: All four assays differentiate well between Borrelia-infected and non-infected animals. The relatively simple, high throughput IgG ELISA would be suitable to establish immune correlates of protection for the novel OspA vaccine in clinical trials. © 2013 Schwendinger et al. Source

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