Today, NIAID officials revealed the Institute's strategic plan for developing a universal influenza vaccine---a vaccine that could durably protect all age groups against multiple influenza strains, including those might cause a pandemic. The new plan, which appears online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, details the key areas of influenza research that NIAID will focus its resources in an effort to develop a universal influenza vaccine, including:
* Improving the understanding of the transmission, natural history and pathogenesis of influenza infection;
* Characterizing how protective influenza immunity occurs and how to tailor vaccination responses to achieve it; and
* Supporting the rational design of universal influenza vaccines, including designing new immunogens and adjuvants to boost immunity and extend the duration of protection.
NIAID officials stress that broad collaboration and coordination among many disciplines in government, academia, philanthropies and the private sector will be essential to achieving the goal of developing a universal influenza vaccine.