Vaccine Development Software Shows Promise in Influenza Effort, could Help Defeat Coronavirus

A novel computer algorithm that could create a broadly reactive influenza vaccine for swine flu also offers a path toward a pan-influenza vaccine and possibly a pan-coronavirus vaccine as well, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications.

"This work takes us a step closer to a pan-swine flu virus vaccine," said Bette Korber, a computational biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a co-author on the paper. "The hope is to eventually be prepared with an effective and rapid response if another swine flu epidemic begins to spread in humans, but this swine flu vaccine could also be useful in a veterinary setting." The immune responses to the vaccine showed very promising breadth against diverse viral variants. "The same basic principles may be applicable to developing a pan-coronavirus vaccine to enable a rapid vaccine response to future coronavirus cross-species jumps," said Korber.

The algorithm, Epigraph, has already been used to predict therapeutic HIV vaccine candidates, and it has also shown promising potential as a pan-filovirus vaccine against highly diverse Ebola and Marburg viruses, protecting against disease when tested in an animal model.

Vaccination with the Epigraph-designed product led to the development of a strong cross-reactive antibody response in mice, the study showed. In swine, it induced strong cross-reactive antibody and T-cell responses. The research was conducted in close collaboration with researchers from the Nebraska Center for Virology at the University of Nebraska, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

"We developed the Epigraph strategy for this kind of problem, and it can, in theory, be applied to many diverse pathogens," said Korber, who created it in partnership with her husband, James Theiler, a Los Alamos Fellow. "The tool creates a cocktail of vaccine antigens designed to maximize efficacy across a highly diverse population."

Since 2010, more than 460 swine-flu variant infections have been reported in humans in the United States. Pigs are susceptible to swine, avian, and human influenza viruses, making them the perfect "mixing vessel" for novel reassorted influenza viruses, the authors note. These novel reassorted viruses have significant pandemic potential if zoonosis (transfer from pigs to humans) occurs, as seen with 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

Bullard, B.L., Corder, B.N., DeBeauchamp, J. et al.
Epigraph hemagglutinin vaccine induces broad cross-reactive immunity against swine H3 influenza virus.
Nat Commun 12, 2021. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21508-6

Most Popular Now

Early Warning System for Intensive Care …

Life-threatening situations occur time and again in an intensive care unit. To make sure that doctors can intervene in time, a team at the German Heart Center Berlin (DHZB) has...

Virtual Reality could Help to Reduce Pai…

We all feel physical pain in different ways, but people with nerve injuries often have a dysfunctional pain suppression system, making them particularly prone to discomfort. Now researchers have uncovered that...

Philips Partners with Orbita to Develop …

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Orbita Inc., an innovative provider of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for healthcare, announced a partnership agreement...

CliniSys Group Creates Single Brand for …

CliniSys Group has created a single brand for its businesses in the UK and Europe, with a refreshed logo and a new website. The move creates a unified identity for CliniSys...

East Lancashire Signs Deal for Early War…

Thousands of NHS professionals across five hospitals in East Lancashire are to benefit from early warning technology that will help them detect and swiftly respond to deteriorating patients in need...

FDA Grants Oxehealth Vital Signs De Novo…

Oxehealth has announced another world first after the US Food and Drug Administration granted a De Novo clearance for its Oxehealth Vital Signs product, which is incorporated into Oxevision, the...

Telemedicine Improves Access to High-Qua…

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently published an update on the use of telemedicine for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders to reflect lessons learned from the transition...

DMEA 2021: Digital Health. 100 % Virtual…

7 - 11 June 2021, Berlin, Germany. An entire week dominated by digital healthcare! With that in mind, early in June DMEA 2021 will be kicking off with a wide range...

Philips and NHS Implement the First Regi…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), announced it has supported the NHS' Cheshire and Merseyside consortium [1] to become the first regional hub supplying the United Kingdom's National COVID-19 Chest...

Child Brain Tumours can be Classified by…

Diffusion weighted imaging and machine learning can successfully classify the diagnosis and characteristics of common types of paediatric brain tumours a UK-based multi-centre study, including WMG at the University of...

AI could Crack the Language of Cancer an…

Powerful algorithms used by Netflix, Amazon and Facebook can 'predict' the biological language of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, scientists have found.