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2024-4-15 13:36:20

Fan S, Kong H, Babujee L, Presler R Jr, Jester P,. Assessment of the antigenic evolution of a clade 6B.1 human H1N1pdm influenza virus revealed differences between ferret and human convalescent sera. EBioMedicine. 2024 Feb 15;101:105013
submited by kickingbird at Feb, 18, 2024 9:12 AM from EBioMedicine. 2024 Feb 15;101:105013

Background: Influenza viruses continually acquire mutations in the antigenic epitopes of their major viral antigen, the surface glycoprotein haemagglutinin (HA), allowing evasion from immunity in humans induced upon prior influenza virus infections or vaccinations. Consequently, the influenza strains used for vaccine production must be updated frequently.

Methods: To better understand the antigenic evolution of influenza viruses, we introduced random mutations into the HA head region (where the immunodominant epitopes are located) of a pandemic H1N1 (H1N1pdm) virus from 2015 and incubated it with various human sera collected in 2015-2016. Mutants not neutralized by the human sera were sequenced and further characterized for their haemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers with human sera and with ferret sera raised to H1N1pdm viruses from 2009 to 2015.

Findings: The largest antigenic changes were conferred by mutations at HA amino acid position 187; interestingly, these antigenic changes were recognized by human, but not by ferret serum. H1N1pdm viruses with amino acid changes at position 187 were very rare until the end of 2018, but have become more frequent since; in fact, the D187A amino acid change is one of the defining changes of clade 6B.1A.5a.1 viruses, which emerged in 2019.

Interpretation: Our findings indicate that amino acid substitutions in H1N1pdm epitopes may be recognized by human sera, but not by homologous ferret sera.

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