White Paper

A Next Generation Sequencing Approach To Influenza Vaccine Development

Source: Q2 Solutions

By Wayne R. Hogrefe, Ph. D., (ABMLI), VP, Vaccines, Q2 Solutions, Patrick Hurban, Ph. D. Sr. Director and Global Head, Translation Genomics, Q2 Solutions

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Influenza typing/identification is enabled by serological tests as well as genotyping of discrete regions of the viral genome. In contrast to Sanger sequencing, NGS provides a streamlined, high-throughput approach to strain identification and broader genomic characterization of influenza, including viral evolution in the wild or in response to vaccine or antiviral challenges.

We can use that sequence information to inform future development of vaccines and therapeutics. NGS sequencing presents new possibilities for influenza vaccine development. In this white paper we cover the challenges of developing influenza vaccines and new approaches that may eventually lead to a more universal solution.

Influenza is a seasonal disease. It fluctuates in a very typical manner, and probably has for centuries, but certainly for decades since it’s been monitored.

Influenza-like illness (see Figure 1) refers to the clinical condition caused by various respiratory pathogens but is typically driven by the influenza virus. Occurrence of the illness rises above baseline between November and February and decreases by March and April in the northern hemisphere. Within that narrow window, the timing of peak infection varies.