Towards improved and broadly protective influenza vaccines
|PhD ceremony:||Y.C. (Yoshita) Bhide, PhD|
|When:||October 08, 2018|
|Supervisors:||prof. dr. A.L.W. (Anke) Huckriede, prof. dr. H.W. (Erik) Frijlink|
|Co-supervisor:||dr. W.L.J. (Wouter) Hinrichs|
|Where:||Academy building RUG|
|Faculty:||Medical Sciences / UMCG|
Towards improved and broadly protective influenza vaccines: Focus on delivery systems, routes of administration and animal models.
Influenza is one of the major respiratory infections and is associated with high disease burden globally. Vaccination is the foundation for influenza control. However, current influenza vaccines provide protection only against virus strains that are part of the vaccine. This is a serious problem since the influenza virus changes from year to year and occasionally completely new virus strains enter the human population. Accordingly, influenza vaccines need to be reformulated each year to match the virus strains presumably circulating in the particular season and even then cannot protect against newly emerging virus strains. A broadly protective influenza vaccine could overcome these problems and would thus be highly desirable to protect against future epidemics and pandemics. In this thesis we tested several approaches and strategies in order to find out how protection against a broad range of influenza virus strains could be achieved. Focus of the work was on the elucidation of the role of different immune mechanisms in protection from infection. We found that immunization via the airways was more effective than immunization via traditional intramuscular injection. Giving two sequential immunizations with inactivated viruses from different virus strains appeared to be a simple and suitable strategy to provide protection against new virus strains. Our research, performed in the context of the EU-financed consortium UNISEC (Universal Influenza Vaccines Secured), provides guidance for the development of new generation influenza vaccines with improved efficacy and breadth of protection.