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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4131324, 12 pages
Research Article

Yeast Surface-Displayed H5N1 Avian Influenza Vaccines

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Watson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY), Binghamton, NY 13902, USA
2Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA

Received 24 June 2016; Revised 25 September 2016; Accepted 19 October 2016

Academic Editor: Peirong Jiao

Copyright © 2016 Han Lei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses pose a pandemic threat to human health. A rapid vaccine production against fast outbreak is desired. We report, herein, a paradigm-shift influenza vaccine technology by presenting H5N1 hemagglutinin (HA) to the surface of yeast. We demonstrated, for the first time, that the HA surface-presented yeast can be used as influenza vaccines to elicit both humoral and cell-mediated immunity in mice. The HI titer of antisera reached up to 128 in vaccinated mice. A high level of H5N1 HA-specific IgG1 and IgG2a antibody production was detected after boost immunization. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the yeast surface-displayed HA preserves its antigenic sites. It preferentially binds to both avian- and human-type receptors. In addition, the vaccine exhibited high cross-reactivity to both homologous and heterologous H5N1 viruses. A high level production of anti-HA antibodies was detected in the mice five months after vaccination. Finally, our animal experimental results indicated that the yeast vaccine offered complete protection of mice from lethal H5N1 virus challenge. No severe side effect of yeast vaccines was noted in animal studies. This new technology allows for rapid and large-scale production of influenza vaccines for prepandemic preparation.