NIH experts describe influenza vaccines of the future

Nov 17, 2010

In a review article appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, examine research under way to address the limitations of currently available influenza vaccines and develop more efficient and reliable strategies to make vaccines to protect against seasonal as well as pandemic influenza.

Although licensed seasonal flu vaccines safely and effectively protect most people who receive them from illness and death, the degree of protection varies depending on how well the circulating virus strains and those in the vaccine match. A vaccine recipient's age and health status also can affect the effectiveness of .

The authors discuss the spectrum of ongoing research that may transform the field in decades to come. Efforts to grow the vaccine virus in cells rather than eggs are currently under way and there is consideration of the addition to influenza vaccine of immune-stimulating adjuvants to be used in certain groups of individuals. Other approaches under development include influenza vaccines based on recombinant virus proteins, non-infectious virus-like particles, harmless vectors or influenza DNA. Also under intense study is the ultimate goal, a so-called universal that would provide protection against multiple strains of influenza, reducing the need for yearly flu shots while simultaneously protecting against novel flu viruses that may arise in the future.

To further protect vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with underlying chronic diseases from seasonal influenza, as well as to quickly control the spread of potential viruses, influenza vaccine makers of the future must employ novel production technologies, the authors note.

Explore further: Mirabegron for overactive bladder: Added benefit not proven

More information: AS Fauci and L Lambert. Influenza vaccines for the future. New England Journal of Medicine DOI: 10.1056/ NEJMra1002842 (2010).

Provided by National Institutes of Health

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Universal flu vaccine holds promise

Apr 27, 2009

An influenza vaccine that protects against death and serious complications from different strains of flu is a little closer to reality, Saint Louis University vaccine researchers have found.

Recommended for you

Mirabegron for overactive bladder: Added benefit not proven

5 hours ago

Mirabegron (trade name: Betmiga) has been approved since December 2012 for the treatment of adults with overactive bladder. In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products ...

Novartis Japan admits concealing drug side effects

Sep 01, 2014

The Japanese unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis has admitted it did not report more than 2,500 cases of serious side effects in patients using its leukaemia and other cancer drugs, reportedly including some fatalities.

Most US babies get their vaccines, CDC says

Aug 28, 2014

(HealthDay)—The vast majority of American babies are getting the vaccines they need to protect them from serious illnesses, federal health officials said Thursday.

User comments : 0