A human influenza A virus X-31 (high-yielding strain) was cold-adapted for possible future use as live attenuated vaccine. Mutant influenza viruses were selected during successive serial passage in embryonated hens' eggs at progressively lower sub-optimal temperature (30, 27°C followed by 24°C). The cold-passaged mutant exhibited both temperature-sensitivity (ts) and cold-adapted (ca) phenotypes. The pathogenicity and immunogenicity of X-31 ca virus were studied in mice following intranasal inoculation. The mice did not show clinical signs even at high titer infection. Immunization of mice with X-31 ca virus elicited high titers of neutralizing antibody and provided complete protection against homologous and heterologous virus challenges. To assess the genetic stability, the X-31 ca virus was passaged at 37°C in MDCK cells or inoculated into mice. Revertant virus was not found in the lungs of any of the mice and the supernatants of the MDCK culture. We conclude that the X-31 ca candidate vaccine virus exhibits the desired level of attenuation, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy required for live attenuated vaccine and merits further evaluation at clinical level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases