Universally Immune: How Infection Permissive Next Generation Influenza Vaccines May Affect Population Immunity and Viral Spread.
Bull MB., Cohen CA., Leung NHL., Valkenburg SA.
Next generation influenza vaccines that target conserved epitopes are becoming a clinical reality but still have challenges to overcome. Universal next generation vaccines are considered a vital tool to combat future pandemic viruses and have the potential to vastly improve long-term protection against seasonal influenza viruses. Key vaccine strategies include HA-stem and T cell activating vaccines; however, they could have unintended effects for virus adaptation as they recognise the virus after cell entry and do not directly block infection. This may lead to immune pressure on residual viruses. The potential for immune escape is already evident, for both the HA stem and T cell epitopes, and mosaic approaches for pre-emptive immune priming may be needed to circumvent key variants. Live attenuated influenza vaccines have not been immunogenic enough to boost T cells in adults with established prior immunity. Therefore, viral vectors or peptide approaches are key to harnessing T cell responses. A plethora of viral vector vaccines and routes of administration may be needed for next generation vaccine strategies that require repeated long-term administration to overcome vector immunity and increase our arsenal against diverse influenza viruses.