Assessment of human immune responses to H7 avian influenza virus of pandemic potential: results from a placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind phase I study of live attenuated H7N3 influenza vaccine

Larisa Rudenko, Irina Kiseleva, Anatoly N Naykhin, Marianna Erofeeva, Marina Stukova, Svetlana Donina, Galina Petukhova, Maria Pisareva, Vera Krivitskaya, Michael Grudinin, Zhanna Buzitskaya, Irina Isakova-Sivak, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Natalie Larionova, Julia Desheva, Irina Dubrovina, Alexandra Nikiforova, John C Victor, Kathy Neuzil, Jorge Flores, Vadim Tsvetnitsky, Oleg Kiselev
PloS One 2014, 9 (2): e87962

INTRODUCTION: Live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) are being developed to protect humans against future epidemics and pandemics. This study describes the results of a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled phase I clinical trial of cold-adapted and temperature sensitive H7N3 live attenuated influenza vaccine candidate in healthy seronegative adults.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the study was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, immunogenicity and potential shedding and transmission of H7N3 LAIV against H7 avian influenza virus of pandemic potential.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Two doses of H7N3 LAIV or placebo were administered to 40 randomly divided subjects (30 received vaccine and 10 placebo). The presence of influenza A virus RNA in nasal swabs was detected in 60.0% and 51.7% of subjects after the first and second vaccination, respectively. In addition, vaccine virus was not detected among placebo recipients demonstrating the absence of person-to-person transmission. The H7N3 live attenuated influenza vaccine demonstrated a good safety profile and was well tolerated. The two-dose immunization resulted in measurable serum and local antibody production and in generation of antigen-specific CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ memory T cells. Composite analysis of the immune response which included hemagglutinin inhibition assay, microneutralization tests, and measures of IgG and IgA and virus-specific T cells showed that the majority (86.2%) of vaccine recipients developed serum and/or local antibodies responses and generated CD4⁺ and CD8⁺ memory T cells.

CONCLUSIONS: The H7N3 LAIV was safe and well tolerated, immunogenic in healthy seronegative adults and elicited production of antibodies broadly reactive against the newly emerged H7N9 avian influenza virus.


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