Protective efficacy of in vitro synthesized, specific mRNA vaccines against influenza A virus infection

Petsch, Benjamin GND; Schnee, Margit; Vogel, Annette GND; Lange, Elke GND; Hoffmann, Bernd GND; Voss, Daniel; Schlake, Thomas; Thess, Andreas; Kallen, Karl-Josef; Stitz, Lothar GND; Kramps, Thomas

Despite substantial improvements, influenza vaccine production—and availability—remain suboptimal. Influenza vaccines based on mRNA may offer a solution as sequence-matched, clinical-grade material could be produced reliably and rapidly in a scalable process, allowing quick response to the emergence of pandemic strains. Here we show that mRNA vaccines induce balanced, long-lived and protective immunity to influenza A virus infections in even very young and very old mice and that the vaccine remains protective upon thermal stress. This vaccine format elicits B and T cell–dependent protection and targets multiple antigens, including the highly conserved viral nucleoprotein, indicating its usefulness as a cross-protective vaccine. In ferrets and pigs, mRNA vaccines induce immunological correlates of protection and protective effects similar to those of a licensed influenza vaccine in pigs. Thus, mRNA vaccines could address substantial medical need in the area of influenza prophylaxis and the broader realm of anti-infective vaccinology.

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Petsch, Benjamin / Schnee, Margit / Vogel, Annette / et al: Protective efficacy of in vitro synthesized, specific mRNA vaccines against influenza A virus infection. 2012.

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