Influenza B virus (IBV) is considered a major human pathogen, responsible for seasonal epidemics of acute respiratory illness. Two antigenically distinct IBV hemagglutinin (HA) lineages cocirculate worldwide with little cross-reactivity. Live attenuated influenza virus (LAIV) vaccines have been shown to provide better crossprotective immune responses than inactivated vaccines by eliciting local mucosal immunity and systemic B cell- and T cell-mediated memory responses. We have shown previously that incorporation of temperature-sensitive (ts) mutations into the PB1 and PB2 subunits along with a modified HA epitope tag in the C terminus of PB1 resulted in influenza A viruses (IAV) that are safe and effective as modified live attenuated (att) virus vaccines (IAV att). We explored whether analogous mutations in the IBV polymerase subunits would result in a stable virus with an att phenotype. The PB1 subunit of the influenza B/Brisbane/60/2008 strain was used to incorporate ts mutations and a C-terminal HA tag. Such modifications resulted in a B/Bris att strain with ts characteristics in vitro and an att phenotype in vivo. Vaccination studies in mice showed that a single dose of the B/Bris att candidate stimulated sterilizing immunity against lethal homologous challenge and complete protection against heterologous challenge. These studies show the potential of an alternative LAIV platform for the development of IBV vaccines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science