The immunized mice were challenged intranasally with a lethal dose (100 LD50) of wild-type A/Taiwan/01/2013(H7N9)
influenza virus and monitored daily for 14 days for survival and weight loss. All animal experiments were evaluated and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Adimmune Corporation. Mice were euthanized if they exceeded 30% loss of body weight. The significance in differences between vaccine groups was statistically computed applying t-test using GraphPad Prism AZD9291 software, Version 6.0. In this study, the H7-subtype vaccine candidates were produced by egg-based process, which has been used as standard method since the 1950s to manufacture current licensed influenza vaccines. The morphologies of inactivated H7-subtype whole and split virus vaccines were negatively stained with 2% uranyl Selleckchem Galunisertib acetate and observed using TEM (Fig. 1A). To evaluate the abundance of HA in vaccine antigen, the amounts of
proteins of each vaccine candidate and purified HAecto protein as determined by BCA protein assay were resolved by SDS-PAGE in a 7.5–17.5% gradient gel and then subjected to either Coomassie blue staining (Fig. 1B) or western blot analyses by specific antibodies against H7 protein (Fig. 1C). By using the scanning densitometry, the HA standard curve constructed by HAecto protein ranging from 3 μg to 0.5 μg was used to calibrate the HA content in vaccines. Further, the amounts of HA protein as located by western blotting in vaccine antigens were estimated by interpolation from the calibration curve. After three independent quantifying experiments, we estimated that the HA protein contributes approximately 32–35.5% and 37–35.2% of total protein of split/whole H7N9 and H7N7 vaccine, respectively (Table 1). At the time of this experimentation, the qualified standard reagents for single radial immunodiffusion conventionally used to evaluate the H7N9 vaccine potency were not available. We employed quantitative Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II sandwich ELISA to further quantify the amount of HA antigen in purified H7N9 vaccine (Fig. 1, Supplemental). HA protein was estimated to constitute 33.6% of the total protein in H7N9 split virus vaccine
from representative results, consistent with that shown in Table 1. As a preparatory research before acquiring the H7N9 vaccine strain for manufacturing production, we first studied its closely related virus, H7N7, in terms of immunogenicity and optimization of vaccine formulation. A serial of vaccinations in mice were performed to address the dose response and adjuvant effects on H7N7 vaccine efficacy which may serve as references to calibrate better vaccine formulation for the pandemic H7N9 strain. Briefly, groups of mice were immunized intramuscularly twice in two-week interval with inactivated split or whole virus H7N7 vaccine containing Al(OH)3, AddaVAX, or without adjuvant. The sera from the mice received 0.5 μg (low-dose), 1.