Swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza virus-like particles produced in insect cells induce hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies in BALB/c mice



Recent outbreaks of influenza A highlight the importance of rapid and sufficient supply for pandemic and inter-pandemic vaccines. Classical manufacturing methods for influenza vaccines fail to satisfy this demand. Alternatively, cell culture-based production systems and virus-like particle (VLP)-based technologies have been established. We developed swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza VLPs consisting of hemagglutinin (A/California/04/2009) and matrix protein. Hemagglutinin and matrix protein were co-expressed in insect cells by the baculovirus expression system. VLPs were harvested from infection supernatants, purified and used for intraperitoneal immunization of BALB/c mice. Immunization induced high serum antibody titers against A/California/04/2009 as well as hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies. Additionally, we compared VLP production in two different insect cell lines, Sf9 and BTI-TN5B1-4 (High Five™). Taken together VLPs represent a potential strategy for the fight against new pandemic influenza viruses.