An egg-derived sulfated N-Acetyllactosamine glycan is an antigenic decoy of influenza virus vaccines

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Author Name

Carole Henry

Lei Li

Weina Sun

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Immunology Microbiology

Marcos Costa Vieira

Published 1 Project


Seth J. Zost

Min Huang

Scott E Hensley

Published 4 Projects

Immunology Microbiology

Sarah Cobey

Published 1 Project


Peter Palese

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Influenza viruses grown in eggs for the purposes of vaccine generation often acquire mutations during egg adaptation or possess differential glycosylation patterns than viruses circulating amongst humans. Here, we report that seasonal influenza virus vaccines possess an egg-derived sulfated N-acetyllactosamine (LacNAc) that is an antigenic decoy. Half of subjects that received an egg-grown vaccine mounted an antibody response against this egg-derived antigen. Egg-binding monoclonal antibodies specifically bind viruses grown in eggs, but not viruses grown in other chicken derived cells, suggesting only egg-grown vaccines can induce anti-LacNAc antibodies. Notably, antibodies against the sulfated LacNAc utilized a restricted antibody repertoire and possessed features of natural antibodies, as most antibodies were IgM and have simple heavy chain complementarity determining region 3. By analyzing a public dataset of influenza virus vaccine induced plasmablasts, we discovered egg-binding public clonotypes that were shared across studies. Together, this study shows that egg-grown vaccines can induce antibodies against an egg-associated glycan, which may divert the host immune response away from protective epitopes.

Immunology 63 Projects