We studied the replication of influenza A/California/07/09 (H1N1) wild type (CA09wt) virus in two non-human primate species and used one of these models to evaluate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a live attenuated cold-adapted vaccine, which contains the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase from the H1N1 wild type (wt) virus and six internal protein gene segments of the A/Ann Arbor/6/60 cold-adapted (ca) master donor virus. We infected African green monkeys (AGMs) and rhesus macaques with 2×10(6) TCID(50) of CA09wt and CA09ca influenza viruses. The virus CA09wt replicated in the upper respiratory tract of all animals but the titers in upper respiratory tract tissues of rhesus macaques were significant higher than in AGMs (mean peak titers 10(4.5) TCID(50)/g and 10(2.0) TCID(50)/g on days 4 and 2 post-infection, respectively; p<0.01). Virus replication was observed in the lungs of all rhesus macaques (10(2.0)-10(5.4) TCID(50)/g) whereas only 2 out of 4 AGMs had virus recovered from the lungs (10(2.5)-10(3.5) TCID(50)/g). The CA09ca vaccine virus was attenuated and highly restricted in replication in both AGMs and rhesus macaques. We evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the CA09ca vaccine in rhesus macaques because CA09wt virus replicated more efficiently in this species. One or two doses of vaccine were administered intranasally and intratracheally to rhesus macaques. For the two-dose group, the vaccine was administered 4-weeks apart. Immunogenicity was assessed by measuring hemagglutination-inhibiting (HAI) antibodies in the serum and specific IgA antibodies to CA09wt virus in the nasal wash. One or two doses of the vaccine elicited a significant rise in HAI titers (range 40-320). Two doses of CA09ca elicited higher pH1N1-specific IgA titers than in the mock-immunized group (p<0.01). Vaccine efficacy was assessed by comparing titers of CA09wt challenge virus in the respiratory tract of mock-immunized and CA09ca vaccinated monkeys. Significantly lower virus titers were observed in the lungs of vaccinated animals than mock-immunized animals (p≤0.01). Our results demonstrate that AGMs and rhesus macaques support the replication of pandemic H1N1 influenza virus to different degrees and a cold-adapted pH1N1 vaccine elicits protective immunity against pH1N1 virus infection in rhesus macaques.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.