The limited protection of current commerical vaccines necessitates the investigation of novel vaccine strategies for unpredictable outbreaks. To investigate the feasibility of using vaccines derived from Group 1 influenza A virus to induce broadly cross-reactive immune responses against multiple influenza subtypes, we tested a panel of sequential 4-dose immunization regimens in mice. Mice were treated with inactivated (seasonal H1N1, pandemic H1N1 and H5N1) and vaccinia virus-based H5N1 live-attenuated vaccines in different combinations. Mice were then challenged by viruses of either Group 1 (H1N1) or Group 2 (H3N2, H7N7) influenza virus. All studied sequential 4-dose vaccinations could induce some degrees of heterosubtypic protection in mice. Amongst all these regimens, the combined use of inactivated and live-attenuated vaccines could achieve the best heterologous protection. These results highlight the synergistic effect of combining different vaccine platforms to enhance heterosubtypic protection against influenza viruses.
Keywords: Heterosubtypic immunity; Influenza; Universal vaccine.
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