Scientific barriers to developing vaccines against avian influenza viruses

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Apr;7(4):267-78. doi: 10.1038/nri2054.


The increasing number of reports of direct transmission of avian influenza viruses to humans underscores the need for control strategies to prevent an influenza pandemic. Vaccination is the key strategy to prevent severe illness and death from pandemic influenza. Despite long-term experience with vaccines against human influenza viruses, researchers face several additional challenges in developing human vaccines against avian influenza viruses. In this Review, we discuss the features of avian influenza viruses, the gaps in our understanding of infections caused by these viruses in humans and of the immune response to them that distinguishes them from human influenza viruses, and the current status of vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / physiology
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza in Birds / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Poultry


  • Influenza Vaccines