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Flu (Influenza)
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October 2019

A plastic model of a spherical influenza virus

Broadly Protective Antibodies Could Lead to Better Flu Treatments and Vaccines

October 25, 2019

A newly identified set of three antibodies could lead to better treatments and vaccines against influenza, according to a paper published this week in Science. Researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, isolated the antibodies from a person sick with the flu five days after the onset of symptoms.

3D print of influenza surface protein

Influenza Human Challenge Study Begins at NIAID-Sponsored Clinical Trial Units

October 23, 2019

A clinical trial in which healthy adults will be deliberately infected with influenza virus under carefully controlled conditions is recruiting volunteers at four Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) supported by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). One study aim is to assess how levels of pre-existing influenza antibodies impact the timing, magnitude and duration of a volunteer’s flu symptoms following exposure to influenza virus. 

September 2019

A picture of swine flu virus particles budding from the surface of a cell.

NIH Forms New Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Research Network

September 30, 2019

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has initiated the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVICs) program, a new network of research centers that will work together in a coordinated, multidisciplinary effort to develop more durable, broadly protective and longer-lasting influenza vaccines. NIAID will provide up to approximately $51 million in total first-year funding for the program, which is designed to support the CIVICs program centers over seven years. 

A transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles.

Disrupting the Gut Microbiome May Affect Some Immune Responses to Flu Vaccination

September 06, 2019

The normal human gut microbiome is a flourishing community of microorganisms, some of which can affect the human immune system. In a new paper published this week in Cell, researchers found that oral antibiotics, which can kill gut microorganisms, can alter the human immune response to seasonal influenza vaccination. The work was led by scientists at Stanford University and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. 

August 2019

A person receives a flu shot

NIH-Funded Study Will Test Seasonal Flu Vaccines With Two Experimental Adjuvants

August 08, 2019

An early-stage clinical trial is evaluating two licensed seasonal influenza vaccines, administered with or without novel adjuvants, for their safety and ability to generate an immune response. Adjuvants are compounds added to vaccines to induce stronger and longer-lasting immune responses. The Phase 1 study is enrolling healthy adult volunteers at eight sites across the United States. The trial is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

June 2019

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles. Surface proteins on the virus particles are shown in black.

NIH-Supported Study Reveals a Novel Indicator of Influenza Immunity

June 03, 2019

A study of influenza virus transmission in Nicaraguan households reveals new insights into the type of immune responses that may be protective against influenza virus infection, report investigators. The findings could help scientists design more effective influenza vaccines and lead to the development of novel universal influenza vaccines.

May 2019

A picture of a  3-D printed influenza virus

NIAID Announces Two Awards for Multi-Year Studies of Influenza Immunity in Children

May 22, 2019

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced two awards for the study of influenza immunity in children. The awards, which may total more than $64 million over seven years, will support studies led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, examining how young children’s immune systems respond over multiple years to their initial influenza infection and their first vaccination.

swine influenza virus particles attached to and budding off a cell

Human Antibody Reveals Hidden Vulnerability in Influenza Virus

May 16, 2019

The ever-changing “head” of an influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. The team discovered and characterized the structure of a naturally occurring human antibody that recognizes and disrupts a portion of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein that the virus uses to enter and infect cells.

April 2019

Transmission electron micrograph of H1N1 virus particles.

Scientists Review Influenza Vaccine Research Progress and Opportunities

April 08, 2019

In a new series of articles, experts in immunology, virology, epidemiology, and vaccine development detail efforts to improve seasonal influenza vaccines and ultimately develop a universal influenza vaccine. The 15 articles are part of a supplement in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and scientists supported by NIAID, are among the contributing authors. Barney S.

volunteer receives an experimental universal influenza vaccine

NIH Begins First-in-Human Trial of a Universal Influenza Vaccine Candidate

April 03, 2019

The first clinical trial of an innovative universal influenza vaccine candidate is examining the vaccine’s safety and tolerability as well as its ability to induce an immune response in healthy volunteers. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, developed the experimental vaccine, known as H1ssF_3928. 

September 2018

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.

A picture of a  3-D printed influenza virus

Clinical Trial Testing Topical Cream Plus Influenza Vaccine in Progress

September 05, 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.

August 2018

NIAID Vaccine Research Center scientist uses pipetting tool under fume hood in lab.

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). 

H1N1 influenza virus particles

Obesity Extends Duration Of Influenza A Virus Shedding

August 02, 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. 

July 2018

On the left is a 1918 H1 influenza virus-like particle (VLP) as seen by cryo-electron microscopy. On the right is the same VLP rendered in 3D with structural components computationally segmented and colored

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.

May 2018

NIAID-Sponsored Trial of a Universal Influenza Vaccine Begins

May 04, 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).

April 2018

3D print of influenza virus showing hemagglutinin and neuraminidase

Research Offers Clues for Improved Influenza Vaccine Design

April 06, 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.

March 2018

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. 

February 2018

universal influenza vaccine should be at least 75% effective, protect against influenza A group 1 and 2, protect for at least 1 year, be suitable for all ages

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.

January 2018

hemagglutinin

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.

November 2017

A person receives a flu shot

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.

May 2017

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.

January 2017

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. 

July 2016

image of one of the new signature antibodies

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.