In order to develop a surrogate virus strain for production of an inactivated influenza vaccine against a human H9N2 virus, A/Hong Kong/1073/99 (HK1073: H9N2) was co-infected in embryonated chicken eggs with an apathogenic avian influenza virus, A/Duck/Czechoslovakia/56 (Dk/Cz: H4N6), for gene segment reassortment. Multiple-gene reassortants obtained were examined for replication in mammalian hosts in vitro and in vivo by infecting MDCK cells and by intranasal administration to hamsters, respectively. A 2–6 gene reassortant with both surface glycoproteins of HK1073 origin and the rest of Dk/Cz origin, HK/CZ-13, was shown to replicate poorly in the mammalian hosts both in vivo and in vitro comparing with HK1073, although this reassortant replicated as efficiently as each parental strain in embryonated eggs. No sequence difference was observed in the HA1 region between HK1073 and HK/CZ-13, indicating that the reassortant would be equivalent in its immunogenicity to the parental HK1073 strain when it is used as an inactivated vaccine. A virus strain with attenuation in mammalian hosts is preferable for production of an H9 vaccine, since it should reduce the risk of manufacturing-related infections of employees during the vaccine production. HK/CZ-13 can therefore be a surrogate strain for production of an inactivated vaccine as well as diagnostic antigens in case of a possible future pandemic caused by an HK1073-like H9 influenza virus.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2004
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