Toward a universal influenza virus vaccine: Prospects and challenges

Natalie Pica, Peter Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


Current influenza virus vaccines are annually reformulated to elicit protection by generating an immune response toward the virus strains that are predicted to circulate in the upcoming influenza season. These vaccines provide limited protection in cases of antigenic mismatch, when the vaccine and the circulating viral strains differ. The emergence of unexpected pandemic viruses presents an additional challenge to vaccine production. To increase influenza virus preparedness, much work has been dedicated to the development of a universal vaccine. Focusing on regions of viral proteins that are highly conserved across virus subtypes, vaccine strategies involving the matrix 2 protein, stalk domain of the hemagglutinin, and multivalent approaches have provided broad-based protection in animal models and showmuch promise. This review summarizes the most encouraging advances in the field with a focus on novel vaccine designs that have yielded promising preclinical and clinical data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalAnnual Review of Medicine
StatePublished - 14 Jan 2013


  • DNA vaccines
  • chimeric influenza viruses
  • hemagglutinin
  • heterologous protection
  • stalk antibodies


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