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Flu News Friday, 3/4/2022

Read the latest on influenza vaccines and upcoming funding opportunities in this week’s roundup.

February 2022

Real-time tracking of bioluminescent influenza A virus infection in mice

Kim, J.H., Bryant, H., Fiedler, E. et al. (2022). Real-time tracking of bioluminescent influenza A virus infection in mice. Sci Rep, 12(3152)

Real-time tracking of viral infection may soon be possible for influenza investigators.  While optical imaging researchers often illuminate living samples by inserting bioluminescent “reporter genes” into areas of interest, this process has typically reduced the pathogenicity of influenza A viruses. However, Kim et al.  engineered the PB2-C-NanoLuc PR8 influenza A virus which retains the pathogenicity of the wild-type virus and maintains efficient replicative ability. Read about how this advancement could enable the development of improved vaccines and antiviral therapies for influenza.

Read the full article here
February 2022

Updated: H5N1 bird flu virus in U.S. Wild Birds and poultry poses a low risk to the public

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. (2022, February 22). Updated: H5N1 bird flu virus in U.S. Wild Birds and poultry poses a low risk to the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2022

While primarily an animal health risk, the CDC is monitoring and preparing in response to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5N1) viruses detected in U.S. commercial and domestic poultry. As of 3/3/2022, no human infections have been detected and, even if sporadic bird-to-human infections occurred, the CDC considers the current risk to the general public’s health to be low. Still, the CDC has used available gene sequencing to confirm the HPAI A(H5N1) virus’s susceptibility to available antiviral medications and produce a candidate vaccine virus. As the CDC takes these (and more) preventative actions, read tailored avian influenza exposure guidelines and federal safety guidance here.

Read the full article here
February 2022

Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2022-2023 northern hemisphere influenza season.

Global Influenza Programme WEP, Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System. (2022). Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2022-2023 northern hemisphere influenza season. WHO Report, World Health Organization.

The World Health Organization recently released its recommendations for the composition of 2022-2023 recommended strains for seasonal influenza vaccines. seasonal influenza vaccines for the northern hemisphere. Influenza activity drastically decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, compared to the 2020-2021 reporting periods, northern hemisphere countries have reported a 35-fold increase in the number of influenza viruses detected, with influenza A subtypes being prominent in most countries.  Read the report to discover the strains selected for  quadrivalent and trivalent egg-based and cell culture- or recombinant-based vaccines.

Read the full article here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • State Vital Statistics Improvement Program (Link) [Discretionary Grant]                                                                                                                           CDC – NCHS / February 2, 2022 / May 7, 2022

  • New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) – Global Health (Link) [Discretionary Grant]                                                                                                   USAID / October 14, 2020 / September 30, 2025

  • Notice of Special Interest: Pediatric COVID-19 and Respiratory Viral Co-infection (Link) [Research Project]                                                                NIH / February 5, 2022 / September 8, 2025