According to the latest research, an influenza vaccine developed with nanoparticles offers excellent protection against various strains of the virus when administered through the nose. The experiment was done on mice, and it was found that intranasal administration of the flu vaccine led to cross-protection against the flu virus due to robust immune response.
Potent Protection Derived From Intranasal Flu Vaccine With Nanoparticles
Antigens like hemagglutinin and HA are used in the test to induce the immune response. Other than that, adjuvants to improve the natural immune response of the body to the antigens are also used to get better results.
To carry both these things, polyethyleneimine is used in the nanoparticles. In this manner, the nanoparticles are loaded with all the beneficiary items necessary to fight the influenza virus in the body.
The best part about this immune response was that it lasted for a long time of up to six months. Experts feel that this can be used to treat a host of respiratory infections in the long run. The current influenza vaccines need to be improved to protect against different strains with a lot of efficiencies.
The immunity usually declines within a short duration of time with the regular influenza vaccines. Apart from that, it also leaves the body vulnerable to future strains of the virus.
The interesting thing about the intranasal vaccine is that it protects the body by blocking the entry of the virus into the mucus membrane itself, which is why it is more effective than regular vaccines.
The HA protein in the virus is responsible for the initial stage of infection, and the existing vaccines attack the head of HA protein and cannot counter the stalk region. Due to these reasons, the effectiveness decreases when handling new strains.
The addition of adjuvants works wonders as they help boost the immune response by a huge margin. This is especially needed with intranasal vaccines as they usually trigger a weak immune response on their own. However, by including adjuvants, the power gets enhanced to a large extent.
Experts say that this PWI-HA/CpG nanoparticle group works better due to its combination of antigens and adjuvants. In this manner, it provides better cross-protection against various flu virus strains. There is a huge scope for developing various vaccines using nanoparticles as they have shown good potential in these tests.
As of now, there are no drawbacks to using nanoparticles in these intranasal vaccines. However, further research is needed in this direction to ascertain the overall behavior of these methods on different patients. Going by the outcome of this research, the clinical trials are likely to begin in the next few months after getting the necessary approval from the concerned agencies.
If the method becomes successful in humans, it can pave the way for future vaccines for seasonal flu, and this is likely to become a game-changer, according to experts. Every year, millions of people take the influenza vaccines as it has now become seasonal.
By enhancing the protection offered by these vaccines, doctors will be able to avoid various complications in the long run. The protection offered by existing seasonal vaccines lasts only for a short duration. Apart from that, they are also not able to offer cross-protection against different strains. The vaccines have to be modified every year to include protection for new strains.
On the other hand, using the nanoparticles induced intranasal vaccines, it becomes easy to get cross-protection against different strains of the influenza virus. The research has opened new doors for vaccine makers, and it would be interesting to see how this method can impact future influenza vaccines.