Current influenza vaccines are limited because they can only stimulate immunity to specific strains of the virus, which is constantly evolving. This means a new vaccine must be developed every year to target the strains public health officials believe will be most prevalent that season. If an unforeseen strain emerges the vaccine would provide little or no protection. For that reason the "holy grail" of public health is the development of a universal influenza vaccine, one that can provide protection against any potential strain of the virus. Researchers discuss current efforts underway and the most recent developments on the road to a universal flu vaccine.
Donna Ambrosino, Visterra, Cambridge, MA
Zachary Shriver, Visterra, Inc., Cambridge, MA, United States