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Flu News Friday, 4/8/2022

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

March 2022

SAVE: NIAID’s ‘Avengers-Like’ Research Program for Evolving Pathogens

NIAID. (2022, March 31). SAVE—NIAID’s ‘Avengers-Like’ Research Program for Evolving Pathogens. NIAID Now. Retrieved April 7, 2022.

When variants emerge, NIAID’s SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) responds. Coordinating 58 research groups, SAVE quickly provides early detection and analysis, as well as in vitro and in vivo data. SAVE is a model for rapid scientific collaboration in response to evolving pathogens with pandemic potential. Read SAVE’s response to the Omicron variant and members’ hope for continued collaboration beyond the pandemic.

Read the full article here
March 2022

Development of a Universal Epitope-Based Influenza Vaccine and Evaluation of Its Effectiveness in Mice

Mintaev, R. R., Glazkova, D. V., Orlova, O. V., Bogoslovskaya, E. V., & Shipulin, G. A. (2022). Development of a universal epitope-based influenza vaccine and evaluation of its effectiveness in mice. Vaccines, 10(4), 534.

In exciting news for universal influenza vaccine development, new research has demonstrated an epitope-based vaccine’s effectiveness against a wide range of H1N1, H2N2, H3N2 and H5N1 subtypes. In this study, the rMVA-k1-k2 vaccine, which was created using an MVA vector, protected 67% to 92% of the models against H1N1- and H3N2-subtype viruses, compared to the seasonal vaccine’s protection of 50% against an H1N1-subtype and 27% for H3N2 (strains other than that seasonal vaccine’s target).  Notably, the rMVA-k1-k2 vaccine produced a low humoral response, highlighting the need for further research into T-cell and non-neutralizing antibody responses. While this study did not consider the allergenicity/autoimmune antibody induction that could be caused by a universal epitope-based vaccine, these findings justify future research into antibody-dependent cytotoxic effects and the vaccine’s effectiveness against strains of influenza B virus. Read the study here.

Read the full article here
April 2022

What to Know About the Bird Flu Outbreak

Vigdor, N. (2022, April 2). What to know about the bird flu outbreak. The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2022.

Now affecting farmers in over 20 states, avian influenza A (H5N1) viruses continue to spread throughout U.S. commercial and domestic poultry. While the risk to humans remains low and, as of 4/7/2022, no human infections have been detected, the CDC is continuing to monitor those in contact with infected birds. Read about preventative measures and the impact of the outbreak here.

Read the full article here
April 2022

Applications Close April 15, 2022 for the 4th International Workshop on Participatory Surveillance

Applications for the 4th International Workshop on Participatory Surveillance (IWOPS) close April 15th. This workshop hosted by Ending Pandemics will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from October 31-November 3, 2022 and will convene global experts to establish data standards, integrate new technologies, explore disease modeling and more. To participate in improving community engagement towards human, animal and environmental health globally, apply here.

Read more about the workshop here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships (Link) [Fellowship]                                                  EMBO / Applications accepted throughout the year.

  • US Platform to Measure Effectiveness of Seasonal Influenza, COVID-19 and other Respiratory Virus Vaccines for the Prevention of Acute Illness in Ambulatory Settings (RFA-IP-22-004) (Link) [Discretionary Grant]                                                                                                                                CDC / Mar 17, 2022 / May 09, 2022

  • NIAID New Innovators Awards (DP2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (Link) [Grant]                                                                                                                          NIAID / Now Open / Letters of Intent due September 14, Application due October 14

  • Call For Concept Notes (Link) [Honorarium and Workshop Invitation] Ending Pandemics, Flu Lab / March 14, 2022 / May 31, 2022

  • Apply for Mini-Funds to Encourage Open Science Practices in Influenza Research [Link] [Grants]                                                                           Center for Open Science and Flu Lab / Open