• Open Access

Matrix-M adjuvanted virosomal H5N1 vaccine confers protection against lethal viral challenge in a murine model


Gabriel Pedersen, Influenza Centre, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Laboratory Building, Haukeland University Hospital, N-5021 Bergen, Norway. E-mail: gabriel.pedersen@gades.uib.no


Please cite this paper as: Pedersen et al. (2011) Matrix-M adjuvanted virosomal H5N1 vaccine confers protection against lethal viral challenge in a murine model. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 5(6), 426–437.

Background  A candidate pandemic influenza H5N1 vaccine should provide rapid and long-lasting immunity against antigenically drifted viruses. As H5N1 viruses are poorly immunogenic, this may require a combination of immune potentiating strategies. An attractive approach is combining the intrinsic immunogenicity of virosomes with another promising adjuvant to further boost the immune response. As regulatory authorities have not yet approved a surrogate correlate of protection for H5N1 vaccines, it is important to test the protective efficacy of candidate H5N1 vaccines in a viral challenge study.

Objectives  This study investigated in a murine model the protective efficacy of Matrix-M adjuvanted virosomal influenza H5N1 vaccine against highly pathogenic lethal viral challenge.

Methods  Mice were vaccinated intranasally (IN) or intramuscularly (IM) with 7·5 μg and 30 μg HA of inactivated A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1) (NIBRG-14) virosomal adjuvanted vaccine formulated with or without 10 μg of Matrix-M adjuvant and challenged IN with the highly pathogenic A/Vietnam/1194/2004 (H5N1) virus.

Results and conclusions  IM vaccination provided protection irrespective of dose and the presence of Matrix-M adjuvant, whilst the IN vaccine required adjuvant to protect against the challenge. The Matrix-M adjuvanted vaccine induced a strong and cross-reactive serum antibody response indicative of seroprotection after both IM and IN administration. In addition, the IM vaccine induced the highest frequencies of influenza specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells. The results confirm a high potential of Matrix-M adjuvanted virosomal vaccines and support the progress of this vaccine into a phase 1 clinical trial.