Changing perspective on immunization against influenza

Vaccine. 2007 Apr 20;25(16):3062-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.01.030. Epub 2007 Jan 19.


Current vaccination strategies against influenza rely on decades old technology of strain selection and prolonged labor-intensive, embryonated chicken-egg based production methods. Although, containing both major surface glycoproteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), the immunity engendered by these vaccines is dominated by the anti-HA response. Consequently, current vaccines are susceptible to failure resulting from significant antigenic drift or shift in the time elapsing from the selection of the vaccine candidate strain and wild-type virus exposure. Therefore, immunity may be of short duration. There must be a change in vaccine strategy to include immunization with both HA and NA to broaden the immune response against influenza. Inclusion of the more slowly evolving NA in a vaccine against influenza will reduce the vulnerability to antigenic changes in a potential emerging influenza virus. Alternative production technologies such as recombinant baculovirus and yeast should be explored to decrease vaccine production times.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / genetics
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Neuraminidase / genetics
  • Neuraminidase / immunology*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Neuraminidase