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IMECS


Vaccines and Correlates of Protection

Identification of Mechanisms Correlating with Susceptibility for Avian Influenza

EC contribution
: € 2,797,287
Duration
: 48 months
Starting date
: April 1, 2008
Funding scheme
: Collaborative project - Small- or medium-scale focused research project
Keywords
:homologous and non-homologous mechanisms of protection, influenza, avian influenza, target-groups, correlates of protection, pandemic influenza
Contract/Grant agreement number
: 201169
Project web-site: 
www.imecs-flu.eu

Summary:

IMECS is a proposal of the FLUSECURE network aimed at combating the threat of new and re-emerging forms of highly pathogenic influenza in its first stages of a disease, by identifying mechanisms of protection that are essential for a solid immune response to avian influenza. The mechanisms of immunity to avian influenza are essentially different from those for human/seasonal influenza. IMECS is uniquely featured by correlating research in humans directly to protection from influenza and aims to elucidate these mechanisms. The initiative comprises a research programme for the development of avian influenza-specific correlates of protection, the screening of vaccine candidates in vitro, the understanding of the origin of subclinical avian influenza infection in humans and the clinical screening of vaccine candidates in healthy adults and in different target groups.

Problem:

The IMECS initiative was introduced since the recent H5N1 avian influenza vaccine trials, results of which were published in international scientific journals have shown limited success in inducing a protective immune response as compared to the standard human influenza vaccines. This, despite large investments and multiple vaccine formulations tested. These results make clear that the mechanisms of immunity to avian influenza are essentially different from those for human/seasonal influenza.


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