A single electroporation delivery of a DNA vaccine containing the hemagglutinin gene of Asian H5N1 avian influenza virus generated a protective antibody response in chickens against a North American virus strain.

Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI

PubMedID: 23365205

Ogunremi O, Pasick J, Kobinger GP, Hannaman D, Berhane Y, Clavijo A, van Drunen Littel-van den Hurk S. A single electroporation delivery of a DNA vaccine containing the hemagglutinin gene of Asian H5N1 avian influenza virus generated a protective antibody response in chickens against a North American virus strain. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2013;20(4):491-500.
Protection against the avian influenza (AI) H5N1 virus is suspected to be mainly conferred by the presence of antibodies directed against the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the virus. A single electroporation delivery of 100 or 250 µg of a DNA vaccine construct, pCAG-HA, carrying the HA gene of strain A/Hanoi/30408/2005 (H5N1), in chickens led to the development of anti-HA antibody response in 16 of 17 immunized birds, as measured by a hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test, competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA), and an indirect ELISA. Birds vaccinated by electroporation (n = 11) were protected from experimental AI challenge with strain A/chicken/Pennsylvania/1370/1/1983 (H5N2) as judged by low viral load, absence of clinical symptoms, and absence of mortality (n = 11). In contrast, only two out of 10 birds vaccinated with the same vaccine dose (100 or 250 µg) but without electroporation developed antibodies. These birds showed high viral loads and significant morbidity and mortality after the challenge. Seroconversion was reduced in birds electroporated with a low vaccine dose (10 µg), but the antibody-positive birds were protected against virus challenge. Nonelectroporation delivery of a low-dose vaccine did not result in seroconversion, and the birds were as susceptible as those in the control groups that received the control pCAG vector. Electroporation delivery of the DNA vaccine led to enhanced antibody responses and to protection against the AI virus challenge. The HI test, cELISA, or indirect ELISA for anti-H5 antibodies might serve as a good predictor of the potency and efficacy of a DNA immunization strategy against AI in chickens.