Science News
from research organizations

New flu vaccine protects against multiple strains including H1N1

Date:
March 29, 2016
Source:
University of Georgia
Summary:
Researchers have announced the development of a vaccine that protects against multiple strains of both seasonal and pandemic H1N1 influenza in mouse models.
Share:
FULL STORY

Ted Ross is director of UGA's Center for Vaccines and Immunology. He is a professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Credit: Billy Howard

Researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced today the development of a vaccine that protects against multiple strains of both seasonal and pandemic H1N1 influenza in mouse models. They published their findings recently in the Journal of Virology.

"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that we have to make predictions about which virus strains will be most prevalent every year and build our vaccines around those predictions," said Ted Ross, director of UGA's Center for Vaccines and Immunology and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine. "What we have developed is a vaccine that protects against multiple different strains of H1N1 virus at once, so we might be able to one day replace the current standard of care with this more broadly cross-protective vaccine."

The H1N1 influenza virus caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. When it was first detected, it was called swine flu because the virus was similar to those found in pigs, but the virus now circulates as a seasonal form of influenza.

Using a technique called Computationally Optimized Broadly Reactive Antigen, or COBRA, UGA researchers Donald Carter, Christopher Darby and Bradford Lefoley, along with Ross, created nine prototype synthetic compound vaccines constructed using genetic sequences from multiple influenza virus strains.

The COBRA vaccines were designed to recognize H1N1 viruses isolated within the last 100 years, but many of the experimental vaccines produced immunity against influenza strains not included in the design. This means that scientists may be able to produce a vaccine that not only protects against recognized seasonal and pandemic influenza strains, but also strains that have yet to be discovered.

Because this vaccine is generated from the genetic sequences of multiple flu viruses, it may protect against many strains over several years, Ross said. That would also allow for year-round manufacturing of the vaccine, since scientists would not have to halt production every year to identify the most prevalent strains.

This research is part of a broader effort to create a universal influenza vaccine, which would protect against all strains of the virus.

"We still have some work to do before we get a truly universal flu vaccine," Ross said. "But the COBRA vaccine we've developed for H1N1 virus subtypes is a major step in the right direction."

Researchers from UGA and Sanofi Pasteur, which has a research and development collaboration agreement with UGA, will present their data tomorrow, March 30, at the World Vaccine Congress US 2016 in Washington, D.C.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Georgia. Original written by James Hataway. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Donald M. Carter, Christopher A. Darby, Bradford C. LeFoley, Corey J. Crevar, Timothy Alefantis, Raymond Oomen, Stephen F. Anderson, Tod Strugnell, Guadalupe Cortés-Garcia, Thorsten U. Vogel, Mark Parrington, Harold Kleanthous, Ted M. Ross. Design and Characterization of a COBRA HA vaccine for H1N1 influenza viruses.. Journal of Virology, 2016; JVI.03152-15 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03152-15

Cite This Page:

University of Georgia. "New flu vaccine protects against multiple strains including H1N1." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160329101750.htm>.
University of Georgia. (2016, March 29). New flu vaccine protects against multiple strains including H1N1. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160329101750.htm
University of Georgia. "New flu vaccine protects against multiple strains including H1N1." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160329101750.htm (accessed May 28, 2017).

RELATED STORIES