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Periodic Report Summary - IMECS (Identification of mechanisms correlating with susceptibility for avian influenza)
Quality validation date:2013-01-08
1.1 Context and objectives of the IMECS initiative
The mission of the consortium is to identify the mechanisms of protection from avian influenza in humans that will enable the development of an effective vaccination strategy to protect the people of the European Union (EU) in response to a pandemic influenza outbreak.
To address the mission of the IMECS project three overall project objectives were formulated:
- to identify the basis of protection from infection with avian influenza by investigating homologous and non-homologous mechanisms of protection;
- to study these mechanisms in target groups for infection;
- to correlate these mechanisms with the immune responses induced by avian influenza vaccination.
1.2 The expected final results and their potential impact
The expected results include the discovery of novel targets for vaccine development, new mechanisms of protection, novel protective antibodies and novel assays on correlations of protection. Altogether, these technologies will boost the design of prophylactic measures with the aim of protecting Asia and the rest of the world from avian influenza. Preparative action for clinical application of the findings will be undertaken in IMECS by correlating ex vivo (WPs 2 / 3) and in vitro (WP5) laboratory findings with protective responses in target groups for infection (WP4), and finally with responses that are induced after avian influenza vaccination in clinical trials (WP6).
1.3 A description of the work performed from April 2008 till September 2010
The results generated in the IMECS project have been revealed to the general public through the public website. The EU organisation was informed by advocating the project at EU conferences, e.g. at the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In addition, the scientific community was reached through several publications in peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore, a total of 31 scientific presentations were given reaching more than 8 000 scientists.
The results include the following:
1. Start of the research activities in Vietnam with the first workshop on influenza immune responses in Thai Binh province that was held from 10-11 September 2009 in Thai Binh, Vietnam.
2. Heterosubtypic neutralising antibodies are produced by individuals immunised with a seasonal influenza vaccine (Corti D., 2010, J. Clin. Invest. 120:1663). These findings reveal that seasonal influenza vaccination can induce polyclonal heterosubtypic neutralising antibodies that cross-react with the swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza virus and with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.
3. Influenza virus inactivation for studies of antigenicity and phenotypic neuraminidase inhibitor resistance profiling (Jonges M., 2010, J. Clin. Microbiol. 48:928). These findings reveal specific influenza inactivation protocols allowing the detection of immune responses against highly pathogenic and pandemic influenza strains under standard BSL-2 conditions.
4. Genetic diversity of the 2009 pandemic influenza A virus subtype H1N1 viruses in Finland (Ikonen N. et al., 2010, PLoS. One. 5:e13329). These findings reveal that pandemic influenza viruses isolated in Finland during the pandemic were quite closely related to A / California / 2009-07 vaccine virus.
5. High frequency of cross-reacting antibodies against 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus amongst the elderly in Finland (Ikonen N. et al., 2010, Euro. Surveill 15). These findings reveal that amongst the elderly, cross-reactive antibodies against the 2009 pandemic influenza virus, which likely originate from infections caused by the Spanish influenza virus and its immediate descendants, may provide protective immunity against the present pandemic virus.
1.4 The address of the public website
|Programme||Project reference||Project title|
|FP7-HEALTH||201169||Identification of mechanisms correlating with susceptibility for avian influenza|
Organization:RIJKSINSTITUUT VOOR VOLKSGEZONDHEIDEN MILIEU - NATIONAL INSTITUTEFOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENTEN
Address: Beleid, Bedrijfsvoering en Advies
Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan, 9-11
Region: WEST-NEDERLAND UTRECHT
Subject index:Medicine, Health, Healthcare delivery/services, Life Sciences
Subject descriptors:Pathology, Healthcare , Laboratory medicine
Subject class:Biology, Medicine
Record control number:54392