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Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Istituto di Ricerca in Biomedicina

Via Vincenzo Vela 6 - CH-6500 Bellinzona
Tel. +41 91 820 0300 - Fax +41 91 820 0302 - info [at] irb [dot] usi [dot] ch

Characterization of the inflammatory reaction caused by influenza virus

Research area: Infection and Immunity

Group leaders: Santiago F. González

Status: In progress

Vaccination against influenza confers in most of the cases protection against the disease. However, the current vaccines are hampered by the need of yearly vaccinations in order to protect against new circulating variants of the virus. Another important limitation of the current influenza vaccines is the development of a suboptimal immunogenicity in the elderly, in patients with chronic diseases, the immunocompromised and in young children, which correlates with higher morbidity and mortality in these risk groups. The aim of this project is to study the relevance of the inflammatory reaction induced by influenza vaccines in the lymph node. I propose to evaluate the effects that inflammation has on the previously described mechanism of capture and transport of the viral particles from the injection site to the B cell follicle. Understanding the mechanism of action of the influenza vaccine will enable the manipulation of the immune response in order to induce a strongly immunogenic, safer and protective response through vaccination. Moreover, this knowledge is expected to improve other vaccine models, thus benefiting the field of vaccination.