A Live Attenuated Influenza Virus Vaccine Offering Universal Protection

HKU
Overview

Anti-galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (Anti-Gal) antibody is naturally expressed at a high level in humans. It constitutes about 1% of immunoglobulins found in human blood. Here, the HKU team designed a live-attenuated influenza vaccine that can generate Gal epitopes in infected cells in order to facilitate opsonization of infected cells, thereby enhancing vaccine-induced immune responses. This approach provides a novel strategy for developing next generation influenza vaccines.

  • A Live Attenuated Influenza Virus Vaccine Offering Universal Protection
Technical name of innovation
Live Attenuated Influenza Virus Vaccine Offering Universal Protection
Commercialisation opportunities
Licensing, collaboration
Problem addressed

Seasonal influenza viruses change constantly so continuous modifications in influenza vaccines are needed to combat season-specific viral strains. Furthermore, Influenza A viruses have multiple HA subtypes that are antigenically diverse and they cannot induce satisfactory heterosubtypic immunity against multiple influenza virus subtypes. Therefore, develop an universal and robust vaccine that can provide protection against flu variants is needed.

Innovation
  • The live attenuated influenza virus vaccine (NAGT mutant) developed in this invention can generate-Gal epitopes in infected cells in order to facilitate opsonization of infected cells, thereby enhancing vaccine-induced immune responses.
  • The animals expressing anti-Gal antibody in vivo can be fully protected by the vaccine against the lethal H1, H5 or H3 virus challenge. This invention demonstrates a new strategy for using a single influenza virus strain to induce broadly cross-reactive immune responses against different influenza virus subtypes.
Key impact
  • Novel, first live-attenuated vaccine to exploit anti-galactose-alpha 1,3-galactose antibodies
  • Potential to provide heterosubtypic protection, a universal influenza A vaccine
  • Highly robust antibody and T cell responses upon challenge
Application
  • Influenza vaccine

Founded in 1911, The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is the first and oldest institution of higher education in Hong Kong. For over a century, the University has dedicated itself to creating knowledge, providing education, and serving society. Today, HKU has an established worldwide reputation for being a research-led comprehensive University with ten Faculties and a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, liberty and diversity. HKU has a proud record of academic recognition in researches through honours and awards received from both local and international bodies.

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