The National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and California Institute of Technology researchers recently detailed criteria for developing a universal influenza vaccine, publishing their results in Immunity.
NIAID convened a workshop titled, “Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine” in Rockville, Maryland, in late June, assembling experts from academic, industrial and government sectors to share knowledge, define strategies and plan for research, according to an announcement.
Flu vaccinations must undergo modifications to battle existing strains of the virus and serve little protection against newly emerging versions.
Meeting participants documented the importance of accelerating influenza surveillance, particularly in certain geographical areas and in specific populations, along with the need to gain a clearer understanding of virus transmission, the announcement said.
The meeting report noted the value of creating long-term studies of natural history across different age groups and locales; answers pertaining to immunity could also lie in standard human or animal models.
Workshop attendees discussed existing diagnostic limitations; NIAID’s report recapitulated overall results noting “the need for improved coordination among various scientific disciplines to prioritize and ultimately realize shared research goals," according to the announcement.
The report was co-authored by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
NIAID researches infectious and immune-related diseases, including prevention, diagnosis and treatment.