Heterologous prime-boost immunization regimens using adenovirus vector and virus-like particles induce broadly neutralizing antibodies against H5N1 avian influenza viruses



Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses continue to trigger severe diseases in poultry and humans, prompting efforts to develop an effective vaccine. Toward that goal, we constructed a recombinant adenovirus vector encoding influenza hemagglutin (rAd-HA) and a flagellin-containing virus-like particle (FliC-VLP). Using a murine model, we investigated a heterologous prime-boost vaccination regimen combining these two vectors. Our results indicate that priming with the rAd-HA vector followed by a FliC-VLP booster induced the highest HA-specific total IgG, IgG1and IgG2a. Maximum neutralizing antibody titers against homologous and heterologous clades of H5N1 virus strains and hemagglutination inhibition resulted from the heterologous vaccination strategy. Our results are likely to contribute to the development of more effective H5N1 vaccines.