Influenza

The DHVI Influenza program is committed to finding a safe and effective broadly reactive vaccine for all influenza strains, including pandemic influenza.  DHVI Investigators who are part of this effort include Drs. Tony Moody, Gregory Sempowski, Charles McGee and Barton Haynes. The project includes resources from the RBL Virology Unit (visit the RBL Virology Unit Website). Influenza is one of the most common infections worldwide and causes an increase in healthcare costs, hospital admissions, and deaths.  Because of the ability of influenza viruses to mutate each year and because influenza vaccination and infection induces predominantly strain-specific hemagglutinin (HA) neutralizing antibodies, vaccines have to change yearly based on circulating influenza strains. Furthermore, because some influenza strains that live in birds (avian influenza) can infect humans and cause severe and even lethal disease, the risk of a global lethal pandemic flu remains high. Thus, a goal of the DHVI Influenza program is to find better ways to make safe and effective vaccines against influenza, including broadly reactive or “universal” vaccines for all influenza strains that could also counteract pandemic influenza. The DHVI team has established a collaboration with Dr. Steve Harrison at Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard University for this work.