To investigate cross-protective vaccine efficacy of highly-pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses against a recent HPAI H5N8 virus, we immunized C57BL/6 mice and ferrets with three alum-adjuvanted inactivated whole H5N1 vaccines developed through reverse-genetics (Rg): [Vietnam/1194/04xPR8 (clade 1), Korea/W149/06xPR8 (clade 2.2), and Korea/ES223N/03xPR8 (clade 2.5)]. Although relatively low cross-reactivities (10–40 HI titer) were observed against heterologous H5N8 virus, immunized animals were 100% protected from challenge with the 20 mLD50 of H5N8 virus, with the exception of mice vaccinated with 3.5 μg of Rg Vietnam/1194/04xPR8. Of note, the Rg Korea/ES223N/03xPR8 vaccine provided not only effective protection, but also markedly inhibited viral replication in the lungs and nasal swabs of vaccine recipients within five days of HPAI H5N8 virus challenge. Further, we demonstrated that antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) of an antibody-coated target cell by cytotoxic effector cells also plays a role in the heterologous protection of H5N1 vaccines against H5N8 challenge.
- HPAI H5N1
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