Neuraminidase (NA) is the second most abundant glycoprotein on the surface of influenza A viruses (IAV). Neuraminidase type 1 (NA1) based virus-like particles (VLPs) have previously been shown to protect against challenge with H1N1 and H3N2 IAV. In this study, we produced neuraminidase type 2 (NA2) VLPs derived from the sequence of the seasonal IAV A/Perth/16/2009. Intramuscular vaccination of mice with NA2 VLPs induced high anti-NA serum IgG levels capable of inhibiting NA activity. NA2 VLP vaccination protected against mortality in a lethal A/Hong Kong/1/1968 (H3N2) virus challenge model, but not against lethal challenge with A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) virus. However, bivalent vaccination with NA1 and NA2 VLPs demonstrated no antigenic competition in anti-NA IgG responses and protected against lethal challenge with H1N1 and H3N2 viruses. Here we demonstrate that vaccination with NA VLPs is protective against influenza challenge and supports focusing on anti-NA responses in the development of future vaccination strategies.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.