June 12 – 17, 2022
Current efforts towards the development of a universal influenza virus vaccine rely on induction of effective long-term antibody responses against conserved regions of the influenza virus glycoproteins. The stalk domain of the hemagglutinin has been targeted for this purpose due to its high degree of conservation among numerous influenza subtypes and strains. Several vaccine candidates targeting this domain are in late pre-clinical or early clinical stage of development. Currently assays to measure stalk-based immunity are not standardized and no international standard is available. As various vaccine developers are generating data from pre-clinical and clinical studies, harmonization of assay read-outs will help in the comparison of experiments conducted in different laboratories and increase confidence in results. Moreover, researchers will aim to define correlates of protection for new vaccines targeting the hemagglutinin stalk domain. Joint efforts between the Krammer Laboratory at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) led to a collaborative project to generate an international standard human serum to measure hemagglutinin stalk-reactive antibodies. The WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization (ECBS) is currently evaluating this project for its endorsement to generate the first international standard for antibodies to the influenza virus hemagglutinin stalk domain.
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Juan Manuel Carreno Quiroz, Tara Hurst, Raffael Nachbagauer, Mohammad Amin Behzadi, Shirin Strohmeier, Lynda Coughlan, Othmar Engelhardt, and Florian Krammer, "Generation of an international standard serum to measure influenza virus hemagglutinin stalk-reactive antibodies" in "Vaccine Technology VIII", Tarit Mukhopadhyay, Merck Research Laboratories, USA; Charles Lutsch, Sanofi Pasteur, France; Linda Hwee-Lin Lua, University of Queensland, Australia; Francesc Godia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2022). https://dc.engconfintl.org/vaccine_viii/26