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Flu News Friday 11/19/21

Read the latest on influenza vaccines in this week’s roundup.

The Latest in Influenza Vaccines

1. From mRNA Sensing to Vaccines 
Fauci., et al., Immunity (Cell Press), November 4, 2021

The 2005 Immunity paper by Karikó et al, led to the design and delivery of the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. In this review, experts provide their perspective on the study and its implications as it relates to pathogen sensing, vaccine development and public health.

2. Influenza NP Core and HA or M2e Shell Double-layered Protein Nanoparticles Induce Broad Protection Against Divergent Influenza A Viruses [Pre-Proof]
Ma et al., Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, November 4, 2021

Current vaccines provide limited protection against mismatched circulating influenza A viruses. Recent studies have explored vaccination with nanoparticles to enhance the M2e-specific serum antibody titers and concomitant ADCC responses to confer influenza viral cross-protection. Here, researchers investigate immune responses of mice induced by novel double-layered protein nanoparticles composed of influenza nucleoprotein (NP) cores and hemagglutinin (HA) or matrix 2 protein ectodomain (M2e) shells.

3. RCSB Protein Data Bank Resources for Structure-Facilitated Design of mRNA Vaccines for Existing and Emerging Viral Pathogens 
David S. Goodsell and Stephen K. Burley, Structure (Cell Press), November 4, 2021

Given the success of mRNA vaccine technology, structural biologists continue to explore new principles of virus biology, methods to develop antiviral agents, and new ways to apply knowledge of viral structure for future vaccines. This systematic review examines RCSB PDB data underpinning the success of the (SARS-CoV-2) mRNA vaccine in order to facilitate structure-guided approaches in mRNA vaccine design against existing and emerging viral pathogens.

4. NS1 Protein as a Novel Anti-Influenza Target: Map-and-Mutate Antiviral Rationale Reveals New Putative Druggable Hot Spots; An Important Role on Viral Replication
Trigueiro-Louro et al., Virology, November 6, 2021

Improving target assessments in biomedical research remains a critical scientific goal. This study further explores Influenza NS1 as a promising anti-influenza target, considering its conserved and druggable structure, and key function in influenza replication and pathogenesis. Researchers aimed to identify NS1-mutated viruses exhibiting a reduced growth phenotype and/or an altered cell apoptosis profile. This map-and-mutate antiviral rationale may be applied to other proteins of (re)emergent viruses for accelerating next-generation influenza vaccines.

5. The Nano Delivery Systems and Applications of mRNA 
Mingyuan et al., European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, January 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven unique advantages to using mRNA technology compared to traditional biopharmaceutical and vaccine technology. This article reviews the key challenges and opportunities for clinical translation of mRNA-based therapeutics, with an emphasis on recent advances in innovative materials and delivery strategies.

6. Virus-like Particles Against Infectious Disease and Cancer: Guidance for the Nano-Architect 
Rory A. Hills and Mark Howarth, Current Opinion in Biotechnology (COBIOT), February 2022

This article describes recent advances in rational construction of virus-like particles (VLPs) assemblies, as well as new approaches to enhance long-lasting antibody and CD8+ T cell responses. Studies on (VLPs) have demonstrated its ability to deliver innate immune stimulation to induce potent anti-tumor T-cell induction, an important role in prevention and therapy for infectious diseases. Moreover, this study gives important insight into VLPs scalable for clinical development against different influenza virus strains.

Extra Reading for Subscribers Only:

How a Universal Flu Vaccine Could Prevent the Next Pandemic 
Michael Le Page, Newscientist, November 10, 2021

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