A Live Attenuated Influenza Virus Vaccine Offering Universal Protection

The University of Hong Kong Background

According to Allied Market Research, the global influenza vaccine market size was valued at $3.96 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $6.20 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 5.9% from 2019 to 2026.
Seasonal influenza viruses change constantly, which further leads to modifications in influenza vaccines to combat season-specific viral strains.
Influenza A viruses have multiple HA subtypes that are antigenically diverse. Classical influenza virus vaccines are subtype specific, and they cannot induce satisfactory heterosubtypic immunity against multiple influenza virus subtypes.
Therefore, there is a need to develop an universal and robust vaccine that can provide protection against flu variants.

Technology Overview

Anti-galactose-1,3-galactose (anti-Gal) antibody is naturally expressed at a high level in humans. Here, we designed a live attenuated influenza virus vaccine (NAGT mutant) that can generate-Gal epitopes in infected cells in order to facilitate opsonization of infected cells, thereby enhancing vaccine-induced immune responses.
The animals expressing anti-Gal antibody in vivo can be fully protected by our vaccine against a lethal H1, H5 or H3 virus challenge. HKU’s work demonstrates a new strategy for using a single influenza virus strain to induce broadly cross-reactive immune responses against different influenza virus subtypes.

Further Details
Journal publication: mBio 2020 Mar 3;11(2):e00027-20. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00027-20
Benefits

Novel, first live-attenuated vaccine to exploit anti-galactose-alpha 1,3-galactose antibodies
Potential to provide heterosubtypic protection, a universal influenza A vaccine
Highly robust antibody and T cell responses upon challenge

Applications

Influenza vaccine

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