Influenza Virus Vaccine

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "Influenza Virus Vaccines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2021) | Viewed by 20307

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Interests: vaccines; influenza virus; adenovirus; HIV; vectored vaccines; virus–host interactions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
San Diego Biomedical Research Institute, San Diego, CA, USA
Interests: universal vaccines; broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV; Influenza and Coronavirus; B cell immunology; animal vaccine models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of vaccine research in pandemic preparedness. The 1918 influenza pandemic and subsequent influenza pandemics of 1957, 1968, 1977, and 2009 have demonstrated the pandemic potential of influenza virus. Moreover, each year seasonal influenza outbreaks cause a high degree of morbidity and mortality. Influenza vaccines are therefore important for the prevention of disease, and indeed to decrease the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza virus infection. Since influenza virus has a strong propensity to drift, each year influenza vaccines are developed against the strain of influenza virus that is predicted to be dominant that year. However, compared to vaccines for other infectious diseases, current influenza vaccines are still less effective. Some of the limitations of current influenza vaccines include lengthy manufacturing processes, requirement of annual vaccination, chance of strain mismatch, and lower efficacy in older adults. Moreover, current influenza vaccines will not be able to provide any protection in the case of influenza pandemic. Thus, there is a need for a universal influenza vaccine and an improved vaccine production process to make enough vaccine doses quickly. Improved vaccines against avian and swine influenza virus are important to protect our livestock and to minimize chances of human exposure to these influenza viruses. Additionally, there is a requirement for the development of improved model systems for the rapid testing and comparison of novel vaccines. In recent years, influenza vaccine research has made a great deal of progress, and a number of promising novel vaccines are in clinical trials. Hopefully, we will be better prepared when a new influenza pandemic arrives.

This special issue of Vaccines will cover all these aspects of influenza vaccine research.

Dr. Amit Gaba
Dr. Laurent Verkoczy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • influenza
  • vaccines
  • pandemic
  • universal vaccine
  • avian influenza
  • swine influenza

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 2229 KiB  
Article
FluB-RAM and FluB-RANS: Genome Rearrangement as Safe and Efficacious Live Attenuated Influenza B Virus Vaccines
Vaccines 2021, 9(8), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9080897 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 2339
Abstract
Influenza B virus (IBV) is considered a major respiratory pathogen responsible for seasonal respiratory disease in humans, particularly severe in children and the elderly. Seasonal influenza vaccination is considered the most efficient strategy to prevent and control IBV infections. Live attenuated influenza virus [...] Read more.
Influenza B virus (IBV) is considered a major respiratory pathogen responsible for seasonal respiratory disease in humans, particularly severe in children and the elderly. Seasonal influenza vaccination is considered the most efficient strategy to prevent and control IBV infections. Live attenuated influenza virus vaccines (LAIVs) are thought to induce both humoral and cellular immune responses by mimicking a natural infection, but their effectiveness has recently come into question. Thus, the opportunity exists to find alternative approaches to improve overall influenza vaccine effectiveness. Two alternative IBV backbones were developed with rearranged genomes, rearranged M (FluB-RAM) and a rearranged NS (FluB-RANS). Both rearranged viruses showed temperature sensitivity in vitro compared with the WT type B/Bris strain, were genetically stable over multiple passages in embryonated chicken eggs and were attenuated in vivo in mice. In a prime-boost regime in naïve mice, both rearranged viruses induced antibodies against HA with hemagglutination inhibition titers considered of protective value. In addition, antibodies against NA and NP were readily detected with potential protective value. Upon lethal IBV challenge, mice previously vaccinated with either FluB-RAM or FluB-RANS were completely protected against clinical disease and mortality. In conclusion, genome re-arrangement renders efficacious LAIV candidates to protect mice against IBV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccine)
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13 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Flu Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Workers during a 3 Years’ Study Period and Attitude towards Influenza and Potential COVID-19 Vaccination in the Context of the Pandemic
Vaccines 2021, 9(7), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9070769 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3618
Abstract
(1) Background: vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against seasonal influenza is considered the most effective way to protect HCWs, ensure patient’s safety and to maintain essential health care services during influenza epidemics. With the present study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against seasonal influenza is considered the most effective way to protect HCWs, ensure patient’s safety and to maintain essential health care services during influenza epidemics. With the present study we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of incremental bundles of measures implemented during the last three flu campaigns and to assess the attitudes towards influenza vaccination and a potential vaccine against COVID-19 among HCWs, in a large university hospital in Pisa, Italy. (2) Methods: We described measures implemented during 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 and assessed their impact on flu vaccine coverage (VC) among employees and residents in Pisa university hospital. We considered sex, profession and ward to investigate differences in uptake. In addition, in 2020 a survey was developed and distributed to all employees to evaluate flu and COVID-19 vaccines attitudes. (3) Results: during the 2018/19 and 2019/20 flu campaigns the overall VC rate among HCWs was, respectively, 10.2% and 11.9%. In 2020/21 the overall VC rate jumped to 39.3% (+ 230.6%). Results from the survey indicated a more positive attitude towards flu vaccine as compared to COVID-19 vaccines among the 10.6% of the staff members who responded to the survey. In addition, 70.97% of HCWs totally agreed that being vaccinated against influenza would be more important than the previous years because of COVID-19 emergency. (4) Conclusions: a significant increase in VC was observed in 2020/21, especially among those sub-groups with consistently lower uptake in previous years. The COVID-19 pandemic positively influenced flu vaccination uptake during the 2020/21 season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccine)
13 pages, 868 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Feasibility of a Vaccination Campaign against Influenza Epidemic and COVID-19 Pandemic in French Emergency Departments: A National Survey
Vaccines 2021, 9(4), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040400 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3058
Abstract
Background: Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to fight the influenza epidemic and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which represent a major public issue. The objective was to investigate the adherence of heads of French emergency departments (ED) and nursing [...] Read more.
Background: Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to fight the influenza epidemic and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which represent a major public issue. The objective was to investigate the adherence of heads of French emergency departments (ED) and nursing departments on a potential vaccination campaign of healthcare workers (HCW) and patients in ED. Method: In February 2021, ED and nursing department heads were asked to answer a national survey. It included 24 questions designed to cover some dimensions, including characteristics of the hospital and emergency departments (ED) and questions on vaccination. Results: 414 responses out of 800 questionnaires (51.8%) were collected. Scores out of 10 were, respectively, 7 (6–8) and 8 (6–9) for vaccination against influenza and COVID-19 for HCW and 2 (2–3) and 2 (2–4) for ED patients (H = 989.3; p < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression found that the existence of a vaccine program in the hospital and the use of point of care influenza PCR in ED were positively associated with the acceptance of influenza vaccination campaign for HCW (p = 0.003) and patients (p = 0.015). Factors limiting adherence to a vaccination program of HCW and patients were lack of medical staff (p = 0.041 for HCW and p < 0.0001 for patients), overcrowded ED (p < 0.001), and the inability to follow up with patients after the ED visit (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: There have been many missed opportunities for influenza vaccination, and there is pressure to vaccinate against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Vaccination campaigns in ED could help to improve vaccination coverage. ED staff are more likely to vaccinate HCW than patients. There are factors that support the implementation of such programs, which can be grouped into a culture of diagnosis, control, and prevention of viral infectious diseases within the hospital and ED. On the other hand, there are limiting factors, such as overcrowding and lack of personnel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccine)
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Review

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33 pages, 523 KiB  
Review
Review of Influenza Virus Vaccines: The Qualitative Nature of Immune Responses to Infection and Vaccination Is a Critical Consideration
Vaccines 2021, 9(9), 979; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9090979 - 01 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4559
Abstract
Influenza viruses have affected the world for over a century, causing multiple pandemics. Throughout the years, many prophylactic vaccines have been developed for influenza; however, these viruses are still a global issue and take many lives. In this paper, we review influenza viruses, [...] Read more.
Influenza viruses have affected the world for over a century, causing multiple pandemics. Throughout the years, many prophylactic vaccines have been developed for influenza; however, these viruses are still a global issue and take many lives. In this paper, we review influenza viruses, associated immunological mechanisms, current influenza vaccine platforms, and influenza infection, in the context of immunocompromised populations. This review focuses on the qualitative nature of immune responses against influenza viruses, with an emphasis on trained immunity and an assessment of the characteristics of the host–pathogen that compromise the effectiveness of immunization. We also highlight innovative immunological concepts that are important considerations for the development of the next generation of vaccines against influenza viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccine)
18 pages, 2465 KiB  
Review
Strategies Targeting Hemagglutinin as a Universal Influenza Vaccine
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030257 - 13 Mar 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5536
Abstract
Influenza virus has significant viral diversity, both through antigenic drift and shift, which makes development of a vaccine challenging. Current influenza vaccines are updated yearly to include strains predicted to circulate in the upcoming influenza season, however this can lead to a mismatch [...] Read more.
Influenza virus has significant viral diversity, both through antigenic drift and shift, which makes development of a vaccine challenging. Current influenza vaccines are updated yearly to include strains predicted to circulate in the upcoming influenza season, however this can lead to a mismatch which reduces vaccine efficacy. Several strategies targeting the most abundant and immunogenic surface protein of influenza, the hemagglutinin (HA) protein, have been explored. These strategies include stalk-directed, consensus-based, and computationally derived HA immunogens. In this review, we explore vaccine strategies which utilize novel antigen design of the HA protein to improve cross-reactive immunity for development of a universal influenza vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Virus Vaccine)
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