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Universal Influenza Vaccines

Pras, A (2012) Universal Influenza Vaccines. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Partly due to the fact that every year new influenza vaccines have to be developed and the inability to develop vaccines against pandemics, scientists started thinking about a vaccine that can protect people against multiple types of influenza viruses. The Haemagglutinin(HA)- stem region might be a possible target for such vaccines. This review article will be about the role of the HA-stem region of influenza viruses in the development of universal influenza vaccines. The trimeric HA-molecule consists of a globular head, called the H1-domain, and a stem-region, known as the H2-domain. The HA-molecule plays a role in binding of a virus particle to the membrane of a host cell. After binding, the stem-region of HA makes it possible for the virus particle to fuse its membrane with the membrane of the host cell. In 1992 was the first time that was demonstrated that the HA-stem region might be involved in generating a immune response. After this observation, a lot of antibodies were demonstrated to act against the stem-region. Some studies suggest that a mixture of antibodies might be useful for neutralizing different strains of influenza virus. Antibodies directed to the HA stem-region prevent fusion of the viral membrane with the endosomal membrane of the host cell. Antibody binding prevents fusion by disturbing the conformational change of the stem-region, just before fusion occurs. The antibody inserts only its heavy chain in a ‘pocket’ of the stem-region and inhibits the fusion activity. This review article will provide information about our position in the development of universal influenza vaccines with the HA-stem region as promising target molecule. Also antibodies directed to the stem-region, and their role in developing therapeutic treatment will be discussed, as well as recent discoveries in influenza research, which might be useful in the universal influenza vaccine development.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:48
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:48

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