We developed an influenza hemagglutinin (HA) pseudotype library encompassing Influenza A subtypes HA1-18 and Influenza B subtypes (both lineages) to be employed in influenza pseudotype microneutralization (pMN) assays. The pMN is highly sensitive and specific for detecting virus-specific neutralizing antibodies against influenza viruses and can be used to assess antibody functionality in vitro. Here we show the production of these viral HA pseudotypes and their employment as substitutes for wildtype viruses in influenza neutralization assays. We demonstrate their utility in detecting serum responses to vaccination with the ability to evaluate cross-subtype neutralizing responses elicited by specific vaccinating antigens. Our findings may inform further preclinical studies involving immunization dosing regimens in mice and may help in the creation and selection of better antigens for vaccine design. These HA pseudotypes can be harnessed to meet strategic objectives that contribute to the strengthening of global influenza surveillance, expansion of seasonal influenza prevention and control policies, and strengthening pandemic preparedness and response.
Keywords: hemagglutinin; immunogenicity; influenza; monoclonal antibody; neutralization; pseudotype; vaccine.