20 Jul 2017
Developing Pandemic Influenza Vaccines: Business as Usual vs. a Paradigm Shift
10 Aug 2017
12:00 - 1.00 pm
An influenza pandemic occurs when an influenza virus with a novel haemagglutinin subtype appears and spreads in the human population, which has little or no immunity to the novel haemagglutinin. Reports of direct transmission of avian influenza viruses to humans, including the 5th wave of H7N9 influenza virus infections in China underscore the need for pandemic preparedness efforts. Vaccination is the most effective method for prevention and control of influenza. Conventional approaches to develop pandemic influenza vaccines have been actively explored for the past decade and would provide strain-specific immunity. However, a vaccine that induces broadly cross-protective immunity or a universal influenza vaccine could provide protection against seasonal influenza as well as pandemic strains. Several options that are being explored to achieve this goal will be discussed.
Dr. Kanta Subbarao is the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne. She is a virologist and a physician with specialty training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. Previously, she was Chief of the Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH in the USA. Dr. Subbarao’ s research is focused on newly emerging viral diseases of global importance including pandemic influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. She serves on the Editorial Board of PLoS Pathogens and mBio.
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