, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1-8

Influenza A viruses: why focusing on M2e-based universal vaccines

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Abstract

The threat of highly virulent avian influenza, such as H5N1 and swine-origin H1N1 influenza viruses, bring out an urgent need to develop a universal influenza vaccine, which may provide cross-protection against different strain of influenza A viruses. The extra-domain of influenza M2 protein (M2e), which is almost completely conserved among all subtypes of influenza A viruses, is considered as a promising candidate target for the development of a broad-spectrum recombinant influenza A vaccine. The results of several preclinical studies with M2e protein, with or without carriers, have already proved the successful protection of M2e-based vaccinated animal model against lethal challenge of heterologous and homologous influenza A viruses. Recently, the results of Phase I/II clinical trail studies with M2e-based vaccines have raised hopes for considering these vaccines against seasonal and pandemic influenza A strains. Hence, it is expected that more and more effective and safe universal influenza vaccines based on M2e will be developed for prevention of seasonal and pandemic influenza in the near future.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11262-011-0598-4