MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Influenza A viruses evade human herd immunity by genetic hypervariation. Annual influenza epidemics are estimated to cause about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 290,000 to 650,000 deaths. Vaccination is still the most effective way to prevent diseases, but current influenza vaccines provide limited protections against mismatched circulating virus strains. This drives scientists to develop universal influenza vaccines that can induce broad immune responses against all influenza A virus infections.
We used biochemistry and nanotechnology to generate a double-layered protein nanoparticle universal influenza vaccine. The layered nanoparticle contains genetically modified influenza virus components without irrelevant carry/structural proteins and chemicals and confers strong and long-lasting immunity in laboratory mice against H1N1, H3N2, H5N1 and H7N9 infections. We also explain the protection mechanism of antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP) play the main role in the immune protection.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The take away from our report is that our nanoparticle vaccine protected mice from a wide variety of dangerous influenza strains. Our observations of broad, strong protection are important to the public because a better flu vaccine is required to avoid ‘bad flu seasons’ like we are beginning to experience now and to address the ever-evolving danger of a potential flu pandemic. Our results are important to the field of vaccinology because they demonstrate the potential of our nanoparticle formulation not only as a potential universal influenza vaccine, but also as a potential format for other vaccines against other diseases.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Our universal influenza vaccine has proven very protective in laboratory mice experiments. We will use laboratory ferrets and macaques for testing universal flu vaccine destined for human use. The immunogenicity, dose effects, adaptive immunity longevity and protection efficacy will be evaluated in the future. The further goal is to test this universal influenza vaccine in human clinical trials.
Disclosures: The intellectual properties disclosure state is being processed by Georgia State University.
Lei Deng, Teena Mohan, Timothy Z. Chang, Gilbert X. Gonzalez, Ye Wang, Young-Man Kwon, Sang-Moo Kang, Richard W. Compans, Julie A. Champion, Bao-Zhong Wang. Double-layered protein nanoparticles induce broad protection against divergent influenza A viruses. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-02725-4
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