Special Issue "Influenza Vaccines"

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A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sarah Gilbert

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44 1865 617605
Interests: T cell vaccines; DNA, MVA and fowlpox vaccines; tuberculosis and influenza vaccines

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last decade has seen much innovation in the field of influenza vaccines research, but, despite the continued threat of a pandemic caused by a new avian influenza virus and the reality of a pandemic caused by a swine influenza virus in 2009, the majority of influenza vaccines used today are still made in the same way as they were in the 1940s, still require annual revaccination and achieve disappointing efficacy in the main target population, older adults. However, the situation is already changing, with live attenuated vaccines now licensed for use in children in Europe, more manufacturers moving to cell-based, rather than egg-based, production for inactivated vaccines, adjuvanted vaccines now available and a recombinant haemagglutinin vaccine licensed in the U.S.

Vaccines designed to improve efficacy in older adults (adjuvanted or high-dose) have been tested. Research is being conducted into many alternative approaches to influenza vaccine development, covering the boosting of T cell responses to conserved antigens, the use of influenza antigens, other than haemagglutinin, to stimulate antibody responses and the production of virus-like particles in various expression systems. Within the next decade we may expect to see the licensing of new influenza vaccines that are more protective in all age groups, can protect against drifted variants of the circulating subtypes, or no longer require annual revaccination. We will be better able to respond to a new influenza pandemic. Improved vaccines for pigs and domestic poultry will enable us to reduce the exposure of humans to potentially pandemic viruses.

This special issue of Vaccines will cover all aspects of this broad area of research.

Prof. Dr. Sarah Gilbert
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • influenza
  • vaccines
  • efficacy
  • pandemic
  • seasonal
  • cellular immunity
  • antibodies

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Beliefs and Opinions of Health Care Workers and Students Regarding Influenza and Influenza Vaccination in Tuscany, Central Italy
Vaccines 2015, 3(1), 137-147; doi:10.3390/vaccines3010137
Received: 26 November 2014 / Revised: 16 January 2015 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 26 February 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Immunization of health care workers (HCWs) against influenza has been associated with improvements in patient safety. The aim of this study is to assess the beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge of HCWs and health profession students regarding influenza. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to
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Immunization of health care workers (HCWs) against influenza has been associated with improvements in patient safety. The aim of this study is to assess the beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge of HCWs and health profession students regarding influenza. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed to HCWs in three local Florentine healthcare units, at Careggi University Teaching Hospital, and to students in health profession degree programs. A total of 2576 questionnaires were fully completed. A total of 12.3% of subjects responded that they were “always vaccinated” in all three of the seasonal vaccination campaigns studied (2007–2008 to 2009–2010), 13.1% had been vaccinated once or twice, and 74.6% had not received vaccinations. Although the enrolled subjects tended to respond that they were “never vaccinated,” they considered influenza to be a serious illness and believed that the influenza vaccine is effective. The subjects who refused vaccination more frequently believed that the vaccine could cause influenza and that it could have serious side effects. More than 60% of the “always vaccinated” group completely agreed that HCWs should be vaccinated. Self-protection and protecting family members or other people close to the respondent from being infected and representing potential sources of influenza infection can be considered motivating factors for vaccination. The results highlight the importance of improving vaccination rates among all HCWs through multi-component interventions. Knowledge of influenza should be reinforced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)

Review

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Open AccessReview Influenza Vaccination Strategies: Comparing Inactivated and Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccines
Vaccines 2015, 3(2), 373-389; doi:10.3390/vaccines3020373
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 16 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 24 April 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza is a major respiratory pathogen causing annual outbreaks and occasional pandemics. Influenza vaccination is the major method of prophylaxis. Currently annual influenza vaccination is recommended for groups at high risk of complications from influenza infection such as pregnant women, young children, people
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Influenza is a major respiratory pathogen causing annual outbreaks and occasional pandemics. Influenza vaccination is the major method of prophylaxis. Currently annual influenza vaccination is recommended for groups at high risk of complications from influenza infection such as pregnant women, young children, people with underlying disease and the elderly, along with occupational groups such a healthcare workers and farm workers. There are two main types of vaccines available: the parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine and the intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine. The inactivated vaccines are licensed from 6 months of age and have been used for more than 50 years with a good safety profile. Inactivated vaccines are standardized according to the presence of the viral major surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin and protection is mediated by the induction of vaccine strain specific antibody responses. In contrast, the live attenuated vaccines are licensed in Europe for children from 2–17 years of age and provide a multifaceted immune response with local and systemic antibody and T cell responses but with no clear correlate of protection. Here we discuss the immunological immune responses elicited by the two vaccines and discuss future work to better define correlates of protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Measuring Cellular Immunity to Influenza: Methods of Detection, Applications and Challenges
Vaccines 2015, 3(2), 293-319; doi:10.3390/vaccines3020293
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1053 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza A virus is a respiratory pathogen which causes both seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics; infection continues to be a significant cause of mortality worldwide. Current influenza vaccines principally stimulate humoral immune responses that are largely directed towards the variant surface antigens of
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Influenza A virus is a respiratory pathogen which causes both seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics; infection continues to be a significant cause of mortality worldwide. Current influenza vaccines principally stimulate humoral immune responses that are largely directed towards the variant surface antigens of influenza. Vaccination can result in an effective, albeit strain-specific antibody response and there is a need for vaccines that can provide superior, long-lasting immunity to influenza. Vaccination approaches targeting conserved viral antigens have the potential to provide broadly cross-reactive, heterosubtypic immunity to diverse influenza viruses. However, the field lacks consensus on the correlates of protection for cellular immunity in reducing severe influenza infection, transmission or disease outcome. Furthermore, unlike serological methods such as the standardized haemagglutination inhibition assay, there remains a large degree of variation in both the types of assays and method of reporting cellular outputs. T-cell directed immunity has long been known to play a role in ameliorating the severity and/or duration of influenza infection, but the precise phenotype, magnitude and longevity of the requisite protective response is unclear. In order to progress the development of universal influenza vaccines, it is critical to standardize assays across sites to facilitate direct comparisons between clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Developing Universal Influenza Vaccines: Hitting the Nail, Not Just on the Head
Vaccines 2015, 3(2), 239-262; doi:10.3390/vaccines3020239
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 11 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 26 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza viruses have a huge impact on public health. Current influenza vaccines need to be updated annually and protect poorly against antigenic drift variants or novel emerging subtypes. Vaccination against influenza can be improved in two important ways, either by inducing more broadly
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Influenza viruses have a huge impact on public health. Current influenza vaccines need to be updated annually and protect poorly against antigenic drift variants or novel emerging subtypes. Vaccination against influenza can be improved in two important ways, either by inducing more broadly protective immune responses or by decreasing the time of vaccine production, which is relevant especially during a pandemic outbreak. In this review, we outline the current efforts to develop so-called “universal influenza vaccines”, describing antigens that may induce broadly protective immunity and novel vaccine production platforms that facilitate timely availability of vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Emerging Influenza Strains in the Last Two Decades: A Threat of a New Pandemic?
Vaccines 2015, 3(1), 172-185; doi:10.3390/vaccines3010172
Received: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last 20 years, novel non-seasonal influenza viruses have emerged, most of which have originated from birds. Despite their apparent inability to cause pandemics, with the exception of H1N1 swine influenza virus, these viruses still constitute a constant threat to public health.
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In the last 20 years, novel non-seasonal influenza viruses have emerged, most of which have originated from birds. Despite their apparent inability to cause pandemics, with the exception of H1N1 swine influenza virus, these viruses still constitute a constant threat to public health. While general concern has decreased after the peak of the H5N1 virus, in recent years several novel reassorted influenza viruses (e.g., H7N9, H9N2, H10N8) have jumped the host-species barrier and are under surveillance by the scientific community and public health systems. It is still unclear whether these viruses can actually cause pandemics or just isolated episodes. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of old and novel potential pandemic strains of recent decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview M2e-Based Universal Influenza A Vaccines
Vaccines 2015, 3(1), 105-136; doi:10.3390/vaccines3010105
Received: 8 December 2014 / Revised: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 30 January 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (913 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The successful isolation of a human influenza virus in 1933 was soon followed by the first attempts to develop an influenza vaccine. Nowadays, vaccination is still the most effective method to prevent human influenza disease. However, licensed influenza vaccines offer protection against antigenically
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The successful isolation of a human influenza virus in 1933 was soon followed by the first attempts to develop an influenza vaccine. Nowadays, vaccination is still the most effective method to prevent human influenza disease. However, licensed influenza vaccines offer protection against antigenically matching viruses, and the composition of these vaccines needs to be updated nearly every year. Vaccines that target conserved epitopes of influenza viruses would in principle not require such updating and would probably have a considerable positive impact on global human health in case of a pandemic outbreak. The extracellular domain of Matrix 2 (M2e) protein is an evolutionarily conserved region in influenza A viruses and a promising epitope for designing a universal influenza vaccine. Here we review the seminal and recent studies that focused on M2e as a vaccine antigen. We address the mechanism of action and the clinical development of M2e-vaccines. Finally, we try to foresee how M2e-based vaccines could be implemented clinically in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Assaying the Potency of Influenza Vaccines
Vaccines 2015, 3(1), 90-104; doi:10.3390/vaccines3010090
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The potency of vaccines must be determined to ensure that the appropriate dose is given. The manufacture and assessment of influenza vaccines are complicated by the continuously changing nature of the pathogen, which makes efficacy estimates difficult but also confounds attempts to produce
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The potency of vaccines must be determined to ensure that the appropriate dose is given. The manufacture and assessment of influenza vaccines are complicated by the continuously changing nature of the pathogen, which makes efficacy estimates difficult but also confounds attempts to produce a well-validated, consistent potency assay. Single radial diffusion has been used for decades and provides a relatively simple way to measure the amount of biologically active materials present in the vaccine. It requires reagents, which are updated on a regular, frequently yearly, basis and alternative methods continue to be sought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Optimal Use of Vaccines for Control of Influenza A Virus in Swine
Vaccines 2015, 3(1), 22-73; doi:10.3390/vaccines3010022
Received: 4 December 2014 / Revised: 9 January 2015 / Accepted: 19 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) is one of the most important infectious disease agents of swine in North America. In addition to the economic burden of IAV-S to the swine industry, the zoonotic potential of IAV-S sometimes leads to serious public health
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Influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) is one of the most important infectious disease agents of swine in North America. In addition to the economic burden of IAV-S to the swine industry, the zoonotic potential of IAV-S sometimes leads to serious public health concerns. Adjuvanted, inactivated vaccines have been licensed in the United States for over 20 years, and there is also widespread usage of autogenous/custom IAV-S vaccines. Vaccination induces neutralizing antibodies and protection against infection with very similar strains. However, IAV-S strains are so diverse and prone to mutation that these vaccines often have disappointing efficacy in the field. This scientific review was developed to help veterinarians and others to identify the best available IAV-S vaccine for a particular infected herd. We describe key principles of IAV-S structure and replication, protective immunity, currently available vaccines, and vaccine technologies that show promise for the future. We discuss strategies to optimize the use of available IAV-S vaccines, based on information gathered from modern diagnostics and surveillance programs. Improvements in IAV-S immunization strategies, in both the short term and long term, will benefit swine health and productivity and potentially reduce risks to public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)
Open AccessReview Overview of Serological Techniques for Influenza Vaccine Evaluation: Past, Present and Future
Vaccines 2014, 2(4), 707-734; doi:10.3390/vaccines2040707
Received: 13 June 2014 / Accepted: 22 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Serological techniques commonly used to quantify influenza-specific antibodies include the Haemagglutination Inhibition (HI), Single Radial Haemolysis (SRH) and Virus Neutralization (VN) assays. HI and SRH are established and reproducible techniques, whereas VN is more demanding. Every new influenza vaccine needs to fulfil the
[...] Read more.
Serological techniques commonly used to quantify influenza-specific antibodies include the Haemagglutination Inhibition (HI), Single Radial Haemolysis (SRH) and Virus Neutralization (VN) assays. HI and SRH are established and reproducible techniques, whereas VN is more demanding. Every new influenza vaccine needs to fulfil the strict criteria issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in order to be licensed. These criteria currently apply exclusively to SRH and HI assays and refer to two different target groups—healthy adults and the elderly, but other vaccine recipient age groups have not been considered (i.e., children). The purpose of this timely review is to highlight the current scenario on correlates of protection concerning influenza vaccines and underline the need to revise the criteria and assays currently in use. In addition to SRH and HI assays, the technical advantages provided by other techniques such as the VN assay, pseudotype-based neutralization assay, neuraminidase and cell-mediated immunity assays need to be considered and regulated via EMA criteria, considering the many significant advantages that they could offer for the development of effective vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influenza Vaccines)

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