Taubenberger, Jeffery (NIAID)
Influenza virus is a major public health concern, causing up to 500,000 deaths annually. The current strategy of reformulating vaccines annually against dominant circulating strains leads to variable protective efficacy and is unlikely to protect against novel influenza viruses with pandemic potential. Thus, there is a great need for a vaccine that provides “universal” protection against influenza viruses.
This technology relates to a broadly protective, universal influenza vaccine candidate composed of a mixture of virus-like particles (VLPs) expressing the hemagglutinin protein or the neuraminidase protein from influenza virus strains belonging to different virus subtypes. Vaccinating animals with a mixture of VLPs expressing four or more hemagglutinin subtypes provides broad and heterosubtypic protection against lethal challenge with influenza virus strains in both mice and ferrets. This vaccine technology has great potential to provide protection against both annual epidemic and pandemic-potential influenza viruses.
This virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine technology for influenza viruses, based on a mixture of VLPs expressing the hemagglutinin protein or the neuraminidase protein from influenza virus strains belonging to different virus subtypes, has demonstrated broad protection against lethal challenge in mice with various influenza virus strains and virus subtypes. Results from ferret and mouse studies demonstrate broad heterosubtypic protection against various influenza virus subtypes further supporting and strengthening the proposed application of this technology as a universal influenza virus vaccine.
- Broad/universal protection against influenza viruses
- Does not require reformulating vaccine each year as is currently necessary with vaccines available on the market
- Can potentially provide protection against novel influenza viruses that may arise in the future, including potentially pandemic influenza viruses