Author(s): Lynch GW, Selleck P, Church WB, Sullivan JS
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Abstract Fundamentally new approaches are required for the development of vaccines to pre-empt and protect against emerging and pandemic influenzas. Current strategies involve post-emergent homotypic vaccines that are modelled upon select circulating 'seasonal' influenzas, but cannot induce cross-strain protection against newly evolved or zoonotically introduced highly pathogenic influenza (HPI). Avian H5N1 and the less-lethal 2009 H1N1 and their reassortants loom as candidates to seed a future HPI pandemic. Therefore, more universal 'seasoned' vaccine approaches are urgently needed for heterotypic protection ahead of time. Pivotal to this is the need to understand mechanisms that can deliver broad strain protection. Heterotypic and heterosubtypic humoral immunities have largely been overlooked for influenza cross-protection, with most 'seasoned' vaccine efforts for humans focussed on heterotypic cellular immunity. However, 5 years ago we began to identify direct and indirect indicators of humoral-herd immunity to protein sites preserved among H1N1, H3N2 and H5N1 influenzas. Since then the evidence for cross-protective antibodies in humans has been accumulating. Now proposed is a rationale to stimulate and enhance pre-existing heterotypic humoral responses that, together with cell-mediated initiatives, will deliver pre-emptive and universal human protection against emerging epidemic and pandemic influenzas.
This article was published in Immunol Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine