The emergence in 1997 and continuance today of a highly lethal H5N1 avian influenza virus (AIV) causing human disease has raised concern about an impending pandemic and the need for a vaccine to prepare for such an occurrence. We previously generated an efficacious vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based AIV vaccine expressing H5 hemagglutinin (HA) from the fifth genomic position of VSV (J. A. Schwartz et al., Virology 366:166-173, 2007). Here we have generated and characterized VSV-based vaccines that express the A/Hong Kong/156/1997 (clade 0) H5 HA from the first position of the VSV genome. These vectors induce broadly cross-neutralizing antibodies against homologous and heterologous H5N1 viruses of different clades in mice. The vaccines provide complete protection against morbidity and mortality after heterologous challenge with clade 0 and clade 1 strains in animals even 1 year after vaccination. Postchallenge pulmonary virus loads show that these vectors provide sterilizing immunity. Therefore, VSV-based AIV vaccines are potent, broadly cross-protective pandemic vaccine candidates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science