Identification of Mechanisms Correlating with Susceptibility for Avian Influenza
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.
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.
The consortium aims to:
Identifying factors contribution to effective pandemic vaccine production:
The consortium aims to identify the mechanisms of protection from avian influenza in humans and thus enable the development of an effective vaccination strategy to protect the people of the European Union in response to a pandemic influenza outbreak.