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: Prescription drug monitoring programs offer multiple benefits

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

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

Teva to lift bid for Mylan: report

1 hour ago

Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva plans to increase its bid for rival Mylan and could announce the move as soon as this week, according to a US media report Monday.

Vaccine for West Nile Virus enters human clinical trials

6 hours ago

A clinical trial of a new investigational vaccine designed to protect against West Nile Virus infection will be sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes ...

FDA clears drug for leading form of cystic fibrosis

Jul 02, 2015

Federal health officials have approved a new combination drug for the most common form of cystic fibrosis, the debilitating inherited disease that causes internal mucus buildup, lung infections and early death. But it will ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.