Influenza Congress USA

All of the licensed influenza vaccines and most of the candidates in clinical or pre-clinical development target the hemagluttinen (HA) antigen on the surface of the virus. This is partly because induction of antibodies against HA is a correlate of immune-mediated protection against influenza, making the surface protein a logical target for the production and quality assessment of vaccines.

For the past 50 years, vaccine manufacturers in the United States have used egg-based technology to develop the seasonal influenza vaccine, and they might have stuck to this method were it not for the emergence of the H5N1 virus in Asia. Since its appearance in the mid-1990s, the highly pathogenic strain of influenza, which jumped directly from birds to humans, has resulted in 500 cases and 300 deaths.