Hangartner Günthard

Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene, Klinik für » Prof. Dr. Huldrych Günthard » Hangartner Günthard

Completed research project

Title / Titel Isolation and characterization of heterosubtypic influenza virus-specific antibodies
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung The aim of this study is to identify healthy donors with serum antibodies that neutralize several influenza virus subtypes (heterosubtypic antibodies). After such donors have been identified, monoclonal antibod-ies will be prepared, and the epitopes conferring heterosubtypic neutralization, will be characterized. This knowledge will then be used to develop novel influenza vaccines that specifically target these epitopes. Such novel vaccines would not only be improving protection against currently circulating influenza vi-ruses, and reduce the number of seasonal vaccinations required, but would also be of greatest importance in the protection against emerging zoonotic avian or swine influenza viruses with pandemic potential.

Current influenza vaccines are unsatisfactory because they are only protective against viral variants closely related to the immunizing strain and require annual immunizations to account for the antigenic drift of the circulating viruses. Development of strain- and subtype-independent vaccines to influenza vi-rus requires detailed knowledge of conserved antibody epitopes that are shared between the different strains and subtypes of influenza. With this project, we propose two lines of research aimed at the devel-opment of novel vaccines targeting these conserved epitopes in influenza A hemagglutinin (HA). First, monoclonal cross-subtype neutralizing antibodies will be isolated from healthy donors with broad neutral-izing activity in their serum. The epitopes of these monoclonal antibodies will then be characterized on a molecular level. Second, the knowledge gained from these studies as well as from the growing literature on this subject will be used to formulate the epitopes of HA that can confer cross-subtype neutralization and to engineer and test immunogens that elicit protective antibodies directed against these domains. Vaccine candidates arising from this project should not only be able to protect against currently circulat-ing strains of influenza A but they may also provide partial or total protection against emerging avian or swine Influenza strains with pandemic potential.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe influenza, HIV, humoral immune response, H1N1, antibodies
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Lars Hangartner, Ph.D. (Project Leader)
Prof. Huldrych Günthard, M.D. (Project Leader)
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Oct 2009 to Sep 2014