Dr Peter Palese | Developing a Universal Flu Vaccine

Jun 28, 2023 | biology, health and medicine

About this episode

The influenza virus – commonly known as flu – is a serious public health concern. There are an estimated 1 billion cases of influenza each year, causing approximately 650,000 deaths globally.

Vaccination is the main way to protect people from influenza. This involves exposing a person to harmless versions or parts of the virus, which their immune system uses to create a ‘memory’, including antibodies. This memory allows a person’s immune system to mount a rapid response when exposed to the real virus in the future.

Current vaccines are only moderately effective in protecting people from the various strains of influenza. In addition, influenza viruses mutate over time, meaning that new vaccines need to be developed every year, to reflect changes in the genetic makeup of the virus. To remain protected, people need to receive the latest vaccine each year. Read More

Original Article Reference

Summary of the papers: ‘A CpG 1018 adjuvanted neuraminidase vaccine provides robust protection from influenza virus challenge in mice’, in NPJ Vaccines, doi.org/10.1038/s41541-022-00486-w; ‘A chimeric hemagglutinin-based universal influenza virus vaccine approach induces broad and long-lasting immunity in a randomized, placebo-controlled phase I trial’, in Nature Medicine, doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1118-7, ‘Universal influenza virus vaccines that target the conserved hemagglutinin stalk and conserved sites in the head domain’, in Journal of Infectious Diseases, doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy711.


Financial support for this research was provided by NIAID grants and contracts, the US Department of Defense, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and GlaxoSmithKline.


For further information, you can connect with Peter Palese at peter.palese@mssm.edu

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