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Influenza virus infects millions of people annually and can cause global pandemics. Hemagglutinin (HA) is the primary component of commercial influenza vaccines (CIV), and antibody titer to HA is a primary correlate of protection. Continual antigenic variation of HA requires that CIVs are reformulated yearly. Structural organization of HA complexes have not previously been correlated with induction of broadly reactive antibodies, yet CIV formulations vary in how HA is organized. Using electron microscopy to study four current CIVs, we find structures including: individual HAs, starfish structures with up to 12 HA molecules, and novel spiked-nanodisc structures that display over 50 HA molecules along the complex's perimeter. CIV containing these spiked nanodiscs elicit the highest levels of heterosubtypic cross-reactive antibodies in female mice. Here, we report that HA structural organization can be an important CIV parameter and can be associated with the induction of cross-reactive antibodies to conserved HA epitopes. © 2023. This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.


Mallory L Myers, John R Gallagher, Alexander J Kim, Walker H Payne, Samantha Maldonado-Puga, Haralabos Assimakopoulos, Kevin W Bock, Udana Torian, Ian N Moore, Audray K Harris. Commercial influenza vaccines vary in HA-complex structure and in induction of cross-reactive HA antibodies. Nature communications. 2023 Mar 30;14(1):1763

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PMID: 36997521

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