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Influenza Science Updates

Over the years, researchers working at and funded by NIAID have made significant contributions to influenza research, publishing studies on the flu virus itself and how it causes disease; new diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines; and ways to mitigate potential pandemics. Click through the items below to learn more.

Note: Flu research is a quickly evolving field, with researchers building upon each other’s work. All information in these science updates was accurate as of the date on the item.

Basic and Pathogenesis Research
Diagnostics and Treatment Research
Prevention Research
Pandemic Influenza Research

Basic and Pathogenesis Research

Fluorescent micrograph of plaques formed by flu-GFP virus in MDCK cells
In one 2010 study, NIAID-supported researchers used green fluorescent protein to track the movement of flu virus through a mouse’s body. Credit: PNAS.

What Makes One H5 Virus Strain More Deadly than Another? (2011)

Mapping Flu’s Trek through Our Cells (2010)

Study Yields Hybrid Flu Strains that Cause Severe Disease (2010)

Researchers Use GFP-Expressing Flu Virus to Trace Infection Progression in Mice (2010)

Researchers Draw First Complete Picture of Human Antibody Response to Avian Influenza Virus (2009)

Mystery Solved: How the Flu Virus Makes More of Itself (2006)

Short-Lived Immunity Helps Keep Mutant Flu Strains in Check (2003)

“Hidden” Protein May Explain Why Some Flus Are More Dangerous than Others (2001)

Diagnostics and Treatment Research

The Lab-on-a-Chip, a remote control-sized device developed by NIAID-funded researchers, could one day be used to diagnose new strains of influenza. Credit: Ronald Larson.

Blocking the Entry: Keeping Flu Out (2012)

Combination Drugs a Potential Treatment for Influenza (2009)

TipDCs—The Necessary Evil of Lethal Influenza Virus Infection (2009)

The "Flu Chip" – a New Way to Diagnose the Flu (2009)

New Test Tells a Patient's Flu Type-and Subtype-in Minutes, Not Days (2009)

Study May Help Bring New Life to Old Flu Drugs (2008)

Lab-on-a-Chip Offers Potential for Fast Diagnosis of the Flu (2005)

Resistance to Popular Flu Drug May Be Higher than Thought (2004)

Fighting Back: New Drugs Against Flu (2004)

Finding a Treatment for Type B Flu (2003)

Prevention Research

Dissolving Array Fingertip
With NIAID support, researchers developed a patch made of tiny, dissolving microneedles that could be used to deliver flu vaccine painlessly. Credit: Jeong-Woo Lee.

Flu Shots No More? NIAID Grantees Use Skin Patches to Deliver Flu Vaccine in Mice (2012)

Vaccinating Children to Produce “Community Immunity” (2007)

Defensive Formations: Learning More about the Soldiers of the Immune System (2006)

In Search of the Flu’s Magic Bullet (2005)

Older Adults and the Flu: How to Make the Most of a Flu Shot (2005)

Reverse Genetics: Building Flu Vaccines Piece by Piece (2005)

First U.S. Clinical trials of Bird Flu Vaccine in Progress (2004)

Researchers Seek a New Method for Making Flu Vaccine (2004)

Can One Vaccine Protect Against All Strains? (2003)

How Foods Can Affect Your Immunity to the Flu (2003)

Half-Dose Influenza Vaccine Study (2002)

Pandemic Influenza Research

When the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic broke out, NIAID scientists collaborated with many other institutions to tackle this new challenge. Credit: CDC.

NIAID Lab Attacks Flu from Different Directions (2009)

NIAID Labs Meet the H1N1 Challenge (2009)

Immune System of Healthy Adults May Be Better Prepared than Expected to Fight 2009 H1N1 Flu (2009)

Researchers Find 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus Spreads Rapidly but Generally Causes Mild Illness in Ferrets (2009)

Researchers Examine 2009 H1N1 Protection, Severity and Treatment (2009)

NIAID-Funded Researchers Find H1N1 Influenza Was Transmitted to Humans Several Months Before Recognition of the Outbreak (2009)

Predominant Role of Bacterial Pneumonia as a Cause of Death in Pandemic Influenza: Implications for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (2008)

Can 1918 Flu Survivors Offer Clues for Protecting Against a New Pandemic? (2005)

NIAID Lab Helps Ready Us for Potential Pandemic (2005)

In Search of the Spanish Flu’s Smoking Gun (2004)

Toxic Traces: What Made the 1918 Influenza Virus So Deadly? (2004)

Bird Watching: Researcher Keeps Eyes Peeled for Next Pandemic (2004)

Quail May Be Key Link in Spread of Bird Flu (2003)

Surveillance Experts Find New Route for Avian Flu (2003)

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Last Updated March 06, 2013

Last Reviewed March 06, 2013