New Kids on the Block: RNA-Based Influenza Virus Vaccines

Vaccines — Open Access Journal
(Accessed 7 April 2018)

Open Access
Feature Paper  Review
New Kids on the Block: RNA-Based Influenza Virus Vaccines
by Francesco Berlanda Scorza and Norbert Pardi
Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 20; doi:10.3390/vaccines6020020 – 1 April 2018
RNA-based immunization strategies have emerged as promising alternatives to conventional vaccine approaches. A substantial body of published work demonstrates that RNA vaccines can elicit potent, protective immune responses against various pathogens. Consonant with its huge impact on public health, influenza virus is one of the best studied targets of RNA vaccine research. Currently licensed influenza vaccines show variable levels of protection against seasonal influenza virus strains but are inadequate against drifted and pandemic viruses. In recent years, several types of RNA vaccines demonstrated efficacy against influenza virus infections in preclinical models. Additionally, comparative studies demonstrated the superiority of some RNA vaccines over the currently used inactivated influenza virus vaccines in animal models. Based on these promising preclinical results, clinical trials have been initiated and should provide valuable information about the translatability of the impressive preclinical data to humans. This review briefly describes RNA-based vaccination strategies, summarizes published preclinical and clinical data, highlights the roadblocks that need to be overcome for clinical applications, discusses the landscape of industrial development, and shares the authors’ personal perspectives about the future of RNA-based influenza virus vaccines