Haemagglutinin and neuraminidase have clearly been shown to be responsible for the stimulation of immunity against influenza.
In the approach described, these two immunogens are selectively solubilized, leaving an intact subviral particle which contains lipid and non-protective components. The methods used can readily be adapted to large scale production.
The immunogenicity of such antigen-preparation was studied in different animal species. Antibodies against haemagglutinin and neuraminidase were measured in mice, hamsters, guinea-pigs and rabbits. In addition, mice-protection experiments were performed.
The immune response of volunteers to this type of subunit vaccine has also been evaluated (Kunz and Hofmann, 1975). Results of a first field trial indicate that the solubilization procedure did not alter the immunogenic properties of the two antigens.
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