MicroRNA-mediated species-specific attenuation of influenza A virus

Jasmine T. Perez, Alissa M. Pham, Maria H. Lorini, Mark A. Chua, John Steel, Benjamin R. Tenoever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Influenza A virus leads to yearly epidemics and sporadic pandemics. Present prophylactic strategies focus on egg-grown, live, attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs), in which attenuation is generated by conferring temperature sensitivity onto the virus. Here we describe an alternative approach to attenuating influenza A virus based on microRNA-mediated gene silencing. By incorporating nonavian microRNA response elements (MREs) into the open-reading frame of the viral nucleoprotein, we generate reassortant LAIVs for H1N1 and H5N1 that are attenuated in mice but not in eggs. MRE-based LAIVs show a greater than two-log reduction in mortality compared with control viruses lacking MREs and elicit a diverse antibody response. This approach might be combined with existing LAIVs to increase attenuation and improve vaccine safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-576
Number of pages5
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'MicroRNA-mediated species-specific attenuation of influenza A virus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this