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Particle quantification of influenza viruses by high performance liquid chromatography.

The influenza virus continuously undergoes antigenic evolution requiring manufacturing, validation and release of new seasonal vaccine lots to match new circulating strains. Although current production processes are well established for manufacturing seasonal inactivated influenza vaccines, significant limitations have been underlined in the case of pandemic outbreaks. The World Health Organization called for a global pandemic influenza vaccine action plan including the development of new technologies. A rapid and reliable method for the quantification of influenza total particles is crucially needed to support the development, improvement and validation of novel influenza vaccine manufacturing platforms. This work presents the development of an ion exchange-high performance liquid chromatography method for the quantification of influenza virus particles. The method was developed using sucrose cushion purified influenza viruses A and B produced in HEK 293 suspension cell cultures. The virus was eluted in 1.5 M NaCl salt with 20 mM Tris-HCl and 0.01% Zwittergent at pH 8.0. It was detected by native fluorescence and the total analysis time was 13.5 min. A linear response range was established between 1 × 10(9) and 1 × 10(11) virus particle per ml (VP/ml) with a correlation coefficient greater than 0.99. The limit of detection was between 2.07 × 10(8) and 4.35 × 10(9) whereas the limit of quantification was between 6.90 × 10(8) and 1.45 × 10(10)VP/ml, respectively. The coefficient of variation of the intra- and inter-day precision of the method was less than 5% and 10%. HPLC data compared well with results obtained by electron microscopy, HA assay and with a virus counter, and was used to monitor virus concentrations in the supernatant obtained directly from the cell culture production vessels. The HPLC influenza virus analytical method can potentially be suitable as an in-process monitoring tool to accelerate the development of processes for the manufacturing of influenza vaccines.

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Influenza type B neuraminidase can replace the function of type A neuraminidase.

Influenza A and B viruses do not form reassortants with each other, presumably due to selection at either the RNA or protein level. Although differences in the promoter sequences of type A and B viruses have been studied, selection at the protein level has not been addressed. In this paper we describe experiments to determine whether differences in structure and/or function of the neuraminidase (NA) protein preclude formation of A/B NA reassortants. Influenza type A (N9) NA or B/Lee/40 NA expressed from plasmids can support multicycle growth of a NA-deficient type A virus (NWS-Mvi), indicating that their function in tissue culture is similar. To determine whether the type A or B NA supplied in trans can be incorporated into the virion of NWS-Mvi, the virus grown in NA-expressing cells was purified by sucrose gradient centrifugation. In each case there was a peak of NA activity coincident with the virus peak, indicating that some NA protein is packaged into the virion. The experiments suggest that, in spite of large sequence differences, the functions of the head, stalk, signal-anchor, and cytoplasmic domains of type A and B NAs are similar in tissue culture. Thus, lack of formation of A/B NA reassortant viruses is not due to restriction at the protein level.

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Comparison of substrate specificities of sialidase activity between purified enzymes from influenza virus A (H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes) and B strains and their original viruses.

Sialidases possessing enzyme activity were solubilized from mouse-adapted influenza viruses A/PR/8/34 (A/PR8, H1N1), A/Guizhou/54/89 (A/Guizhou, H3N2) and B/Ibaraki/2/85 (B/Ibaraki) by proteolytic digestion and purified by affinity chromatography and/or sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The purified sialidases were observed as a single protein band on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The optimum pH of purified sialidases from A/PR8, A/Guizhou and B/Ibaraki against sodium p-nitrophenyl-N-acetyl-alpha-D-neuraminate were 6.5, 7.5 and 5.5, respectively. The purified sialidase (N1) from A/PR8 and its original virus showed enzyme activity with similar substrate specificity, and preferentially hydrolyzed alpha (2-->3)sialyllactose and bovine submaxillary mucin (BSM). Purified sialidase from B/Ibaraki hydrolyzed alpha (2-->3)sialyllactose, alpha (2-->6)sialyllactose and most glycoproteins, especially BSM, but the intact virus showed higher sialidase activity against sialyllactoses than against glycoproteins and gangliosides. These results indicate that the purified enzyme and the original virus of B/Ibaraki have different substrate specificities of sialidase activity. Purified A/Guizhou sialidase (N2) hydrolyzed alpha (2-->3)sialyllactose and porcine stomach mucin but not alpha (2-->6)sialyllactose and BSM. The original virus of A/Guizhou showed substrate specificity similar to its purified enzyme, except that the virus was active against BSM.

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The complex formation of influenza virus envelope glycoproteins with outer membrane proteins of Neisseria meningitidis or Borrelia burgdorferi.

The isolation of influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was achieved by one-step procedure consisting of treatment of purified virus with zwitterionic detergent and separation of viral constituents by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Viral glycoproteins and proteins of outer membrane of N. meningitidis or B. burgdorferi formed complexes after removal of the detergent by dialysis. Complexing of viral glycoproteins and bacterial proteins was monitored by gel chromatography on Sepharose 6B, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy. It was demonstrated by immunoblot analysis, that virus-spirochete complexes elicited formation of antibodies in mice directed against osp A and osp B of spirochete, as well as against viral glycoproteins, respectively.

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Role of influenza B virus in hepatic steatosis and mitochondrial abnormalities in a mouse model of Reye syndrome.

The hepatic steatosis observed in the influenza B virus mouse model of Reye syndrome has been attributed to infectious virus or, alternately, to decreased food intake in the virus-treated mice or impurities in the virus preparation. To resolve this issue, 4- to 6-wk-old male Balb C mice were given, by intravenous injection, 12,800 hemagglutination units of influenza B Lee/40 virus in phosphate buffered saline/1% bovine serum albumin using virus prepared by ultra-centrifugation from infected allantoic fluid, by sucrose density-gradient purification of virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid or by irradiation of virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid to inactivate virus. The infectivity titer of virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid was much higher than that of sucrose density-gradient purified virus prepared from infected allantoic fluid: 50% egg infectious dose for virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid was 3.9 x 10(4)/hemagglutination unit vs. 8.7 50% egg infectious dose/hemagglutination unit for sucrose density-gradient purified virus prepared from infected allantoic fluid. Control mice received phosphate-buffered saline/1% bovine serum albumin or uninfected allantoic fluid diluted in phosphate-buffered saline/1% bovine serum albumin. Mice were fasted to eliminate dietary variation, and livers were obtained 36 hr after virus administration. Of the above treatments, only virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid caused clinical illness and increased hepatic triglycerides (p less than 0.02) compared with controls. Hepatic triglycerides in virus prepared by ultracentrifugation from infected allantoic fluid correlated with histopathological vacuolization scores (r = 0.5773; p less than 0.03).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Use of zwitterionic detergent for the preparation of an influenza virus vaccine. 1: Preparation and characterization of disrupted virions.

The zwitterionic, Empigen BB an alkylbetaine based on a C12-C14 alcohol was shown to disrupt influenza A and B viruses in such a way as to retain the biological activity of the surface haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) antigens. The optimal conditions required to obtain the maximum recovery of HA and NA activity from purified influenza X47 (H3N2) virus concentrate after treatment with Empigen, and the nature and the morphological appearance of the Empigen-treated preparations both before and following a sucrose density gradient purification step, are described. Matrix (M) protein was readily removed during purification, but nucleoprotein (NP) could not be separated from the surface protein activity.

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