Flu (Influenza) News Releases

Experimental Nasal Influenza Vaccine Tested in Kids, Teens
September 17, 2018

An early-stage clinical trial testing the safety and immune-stimulating ability of an experimental nasal influenza vaccine in healthy 9- to 17-year-old children and teens has begun enrolling participants at a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) site at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The VTEU is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trial Testing Topical Cream Plus Influenza Vaccine in Progress
September 5, 2018

A Phase 1 clinical trial examining whether a topical cream can enhance the immune response conferred by a “pre-pandemic” influenza vaccine is underway at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Investigators are evaluating whether imiquimod cream, which is commonly used to treat genital warts and certain skin cancers, can boost the body’s immune response to an H5N1 influenza vaccine. The trial is enrolling 50 healthy adults ages 18-50 years.

HIV/AIDS Research Yields Dividends Across Medical Fields
August 28, 2018

Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States 37 years ago, the National Institutes of Health has invested more than $69 billion in the understanding, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Beyond the development of life-saving medications and innovative prevention modalities, such research has led to numerous advances outside the HIV field, according to a new commentary from experts at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). 

Obesity Extends Duration Of Influenza A Virus Shedding
August 2, 2018

Obesity, which increases influenza disease severity, also extends by about 1.5 days how long influenza A virus is shed from infected adults compared to non-obese adults, according to a multi-year study of two cohorts of Nicaraguan households. The findings implicate chronic inflammation caused by obesity as well as increasing age as reasons for extended viral shedding, which puts others at risk of infection. 

NIAID Scientists Create 3D Structure of 1918 Influenza Virus-Like Particles
July 11, 2018

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies. Because VLPs are not infectious, they show considerable promise as vaccine platforms for many viral diseases, including influenza. Realizing that fine details about influenza VLPs were scant, a team of researchers who specialize in visualizing molecular structures developed a 3D model based on the 1918 H1 pandemic influenza virus.

NIAID-Sponsored Trial of a Universal Influenza Vaccine Begins
May 4, 2018

A Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational universal influenza vaccine intended to protect against multiple strains of the virus has begun in the United States. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is being conducted at four U.S. sites that are part of the NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs).

Research Offers Clues for Improved Influenza Vaccine Design
April 6, 2018

Influenza vaccines that better target the influenza surface protein called neuraminidase (NA) could offer broad protection against various influenza virus strains and lessen the severity of illness, according to new research published in Cell. Current seasonal influenza vaccines mainly target a different, more abundant influenza surface protein called hemagglutinin (HA). However, because influenza vaccines offer varying and sometimes limited protection, scientists are exploring ways to improve vaccine effectiveness.

NIH Scientists Say Advanced Vaccines Could Limit Future Outbreaks
March 22, 2018

Novel vaccine technologies are critical to improving the public health response to infectious disease threats that continually emerge and re-emerge, according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. In a perspective in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the experts highlight innovations that could significantly shorten the typical decades-long vaccine development timeline.

H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Clinical Trials Begin
March 15, 2018

Two new clinical trials testing an experimental vaccine to prevent influenza caused by an H7N9 influenza virus are now enrolling volunteers at sites across the United States. The Phase 2 studies, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will test different dosages of the inactivated influenza vaccine candidate (called 2017 H7N9 IIV) as well as different vaccination schedules. The studies also will evaluate whether an adjuvant boosts the immune responses of people receiving the vaccine. 

NIAID Unveils Strategic Plan for Developing a Universal Influenza Vaccine
February 28, 2018

Developing a universal influenza vaccine—a vaccine that can provide durable protection for all age groups against multiple influenza strains, including those that might cause a pandemic—is a priority for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, NIAID officials detail the institute’s new strategic plan for addressing the research areas essential to creating a safe and effective universal influenza vaccine.

Flu Infection Study Increases Understanding of Natural Immunity
January 23, 2018

People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but do not have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according to a new study published in mBio. HA sits on the surface of the influenza virus to help bind it to cells and features a head and stem region.

Fighting the Flu, Year after Year
November 29, 2017

In a New England Journal of Medicine perspective, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne discuss how the process of preparing seasonal influenza vaccines in eggs may contribute to their limited effectiveness. The authors offer research strategies that might yield more protective vaccine candidates.

NIH Scientists Find Real-Time Imaging in Mice a Promising Influenza Study Tool
May 30, 2017

Real-time imaging of influenza infection in mice is a promising new method to quickly monitor disease progression and to evaluate whether candidate vaccines and treatments are effective in this animal model, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists.

NIAID Flu Experts Examine Evolution of Avian Influenza
January 18, 2017

Few influenza viruses are as widespread and adaptable as avian influenza viruses, and scientists are not entirely sure why. 

In a new commentary published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, two leading influenza experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, examine how the evolution of proteins found on the surfaces of flu viruses has impacted their ability to infect migratory birds and poultry and cause avian disease. 

Vaccine Strategy Induces Antibodies that Can Target Multiple Influenza Viruses
July 22, 2016

WHAT: Scientists have identified three types of vaccine-induced antibodies that can neutralize diverse strains of influenza virus that infect humans. The discovery will help guide development of a universal influenza vaccine, according to investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and collaborators who conducted the research. The findings appear in the July 21st online edition of Cell.

NIH-Supported Study Pinpoints Origin of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic
June 28, 2016

Researchers have used genetic sequencing to show that the 2009 global H1N1 influenza pandemic began in central Mexico, originating in pigs and spreading to humans. Mexico is not typically considered a source of novel influenza strains. The new findings appear online in the journal eLIFE. They shed light on how the novel virus evolved and stress the need for improved influenza surveillance. The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Novel Strategy May Improve Seasonal Flu Vaccine Effectiveness
May 23, 2016

New findings describe a novel strategy for predicting how circulating influenza viruses will evolve, an approach that may help scientists create better seasonal influenza vaccines.

Prime-Boost H7N9 Influenza Vaccine Concept Promising in Clinical Trial
December 10, 2015

Several candidate H7N9 pandemic influenza vaccines made from inactivated viruses have been shown to be safe and to generate an immune response.

Candidate H7N9 Avian Flu Vaccine Works Better with Adjuvant
October 7, 2014

​An experimental vaccine to protect people against H7N9 avian influenza prompted immune responses in 59 percent of volunteers who received two injections at the lowest dosage tested but only if the vaccine was mixed with adjuvant.