Generation of influenza virus from avian cells infected by salmonella carrying the viral genome

Xiangmin Zhang, Wei Kong, Soo Young Wanda, Wei Xin, Praveen Alamuri, Roy Curtiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Domestic poultry serve as intermediates for transmission of influenza A virus from the wild aquatic bird reservoir to humans, resulting in influenza outbreaks in poultry and potential epidemics/ pandemics among human beings. To combat emerging avian influenza virus, an inexpensive, heat-stable, and orally administered influenza vaccine would be useful to vaccinate large commercial poultry flocks and even migratory birds. Our hypothesized vaccine is a recombinant attenuated bacterial strain able to mediate production of attenuated influenza virus in vivo to induce protective immunity against influenza. Here we report the feasibility and technical limitations toward such an ideal vaccine based on our exploratory study. Five 8-unit plasmids carrying a chloramphenicol resistance gene or free of an antibiotic resistance marker were constructed. Influenza virus was successfully generated in avian cells transfected by each of the plasmids. The Salmonella carrier was engineered to allow stable maintenance and conditional release of the 8-unit plasmid into the avian cells for recovery of influenza virus. Influenza A virus up to 107 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50)/ml were recovered from 11 out of 26 co-cultures of chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells upon infection by the recombinant Salmonella carrying the 8-unit plasmid. Our data prove that a bacterial carrier can mediate generation of influenza virus by delivering its DNA cargoes into permissive host cells. Although we have made progress in developing this Salmonella influenza virus vaccine delivery system, further improvements are necessary to achieve efficient virus production, especially in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0119041
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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