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Immunol Cell Biol. 2012 Jul;90(6):571-8. doi: 10.1038/icb.2011.70. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Return of inactivated whole-virus vaccine for superior efficacy.

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Center for Immunology and Microbial Disease, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208-3479, USA.


The swine, influenza, H1N1 outbreak in 2009 highlighted the inadequacy of the currently used antibody-based vaccine strategies as a preventive measure for combating influenza pandemics. The ultimate goal for successful control of newly arising influenza outbreaks is to design a single-shot vaccine that will provide long-lasting immunity against all strains of influenza A virus. A large amount of data from animal studies has indicated that the cross-reactive cytotoxic T (Tc) cell response against conserved influenza virus epitopes may be the key immune response needed for a universal influenza vaccine. However, decades of research have shown that the development of safe T-cell-based vaccines for influenza is not an easy task. Here, I discuss the overlooked but potentially highly advantageous inactivation method, namely, γ-ray irradiation, as a mean to reach the Holy Grail of influenza vaccinology.

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