Transcriptome signatures preceding the induction of anti-stalk antibodies elicited after universal influenza vaccination

Teresa Aydillo, Ana S. Gonzalez-Reiche, Daniel Stadlbauer, Mary Anne Amper, Venugopalan D. Nair, Chiara Mariottini, Stuart C. Sealfon, Harm van Bakel, Peter Palese, Florian Krammer, Adolfo García-Sastre

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4 Scopus citations


A phase 1 clinical trial to test the immunogenicity of a chimeric group 1 HA (cHA) universal influenza virus vaccine targeting the conserved stalk domain of the hemagglutinin of influenza viruses was carried out. Vaccination with adjuvanted-inactivated vaccines induced high anti-stalk antibody titers. We sought to identify gene expression signatures that correlate with such induction. Messenger-RNA sequencing in whole blood was performed on the peripheral blood of 53 vaccinees. We generated longitudinal data on the peripheral blood of 53 volunteers, at early (days 3 and 7) and late (28 days) time points after priming and boosting with cHAs. Differentially expressed gene analysis showed no differences between placebo and live-attenuated vaccine groups. However, an upregulation of genes involved in innate immune responses and type I interferon signaling was found at day 3 after vaccination with inactivated adjuvanted formulations. Cell type deconvolution analysis revealed a significant enrichment for monocyte markers and different subsets of dendritic cells as mediators for optimal B cell responses and significant increase of anti-stalk antibodies in sera. A significant upregulation of immunoglobulin-related genes was only observed after administration of adjuvanted vaccines (either as primer or booster) with specific induction of anti-stalk IGVH1-69. This approach informed of specific immune signatures that correlate with robust anti-stalk antibody responses, while also helping to understand the regulation of gene expression induced by cHA proteins under different vaccine regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number160
Journalnpj Vaccines
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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