Evaluation of a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA)-based candidate pandemic influenza A/H1N1 vaccine in the ferret model

Joost H C M Kreijtz, Yasemin Süzer, Rogier Bodewes, Astrid Schwantes, Geert van Amerongen, R Joyce Verburgh, Gerrie de Mutsert, Judith van den Brand, Stella E van Trierum, Thijs Kuiken, Ron A M Fouchier, Albert D M E Osterhaus, Gerd Sutter, Guus F Rimmelzwaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The zoonotic transmissions of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype that have occurred since 1997 have sparked the development of novel influenza vaccines. The advent of reverse genetics technology, cell-culture production techniques and novel adjuvants has improved the vaccine strain preparation, production process and immunogenicity of the vaccines, respectively, and has accelerated the availability of pandemic influenza vaccines. However, there is still room for improvement, and alternative vaccine preparations can be explored, such as viral vectors. Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), originally developed as a safe smallpox vaccine, can be exploited as a viral vector and has many favourable properties. Recently, we have demonstrated that an MVA-based vaccine could protect mice and macaques against infection with highly pathogenic influenza viruses of the H5N1 subtype. In the present study, recombinant MVA expressing the haemagglutinin (HA) gene of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 virus was evaluated in the ferret model. A single immunization induced modest antibody responses and afforded only modest protection against the development of severe disease upon infection with a 2009(H1N1) strain. In contrast, two immunizations induced robust antibody responses and protected ferrets from developing severe disease, confirming that MVA is an attractive influenza vaccine production platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2745-52
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue numberPt 11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Ferrets
  • Fever
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Lung
  • Microscopy
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Vaccinia virus
  • Viral Load


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