1976 and 2009 H1N1 influenza virus vaccines boost anti-hemagglutinin stalk antibodies in humans

J Infect Dis. 2013 Jan 1;207(1):98-105. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis652. Epub 2012 Oct 18.


Background: Infection with pandemic H1N1 influenza A viruses (IAVs) containing hemagglutinin (HA) proteins with globular heads that differ substantially from seasonal strains results in a boost in broadly cross-reactive antibodies that bind to the HA stalk. Boosting these antibodies has become an attractive strategy for creating a universal IAV vaccine. Therefore, it was essential to determine whether vaccines containing H1N1 viruses whose head domains differ substantially compared to seasonal strains could also achieve this boost.

Methods: Prospective samples of subjects who had received the A/New Jersey/1976 (NJ/76) vaccine and healthy, age-matched controls were assessed for the presence of anti-HA stalk antibodies before and after receiving the A/California/04/2009 (Cal/09) vaccine between October 2009 and January 2010.

Results: Individuals who received either the NJ/76 vaccine or the Cal/09 vaccine experienced a robust boost in HA stalk-reactive, neutralizing antibodies similar to what has been observed in individuals infected with Cal/09.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that vaccines containing viruses whose HA head domains that differ substantially from seasonal strains are capable of boosting titers of HA stalk antibodies. Furthermore, anti-HA stalk antibodies elicited by vaccination appear to be long-lived and therefore could be targeted for the generation of a universal IAV vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Line
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Dogs
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Recombinant Proteins