A novel nanoparticle vaccine that combines two major influenza proteins is effective in providing broad, long-lasting protection against influenza virus in mice, showing promise as a universal flu vaccine, according to a study by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

3D print of influenza virus. The virus surface (yellow) is covered with proteins called hemagglutinin (blue) and neuraminidase (red). NIH

The double-layered nanoparticle vaccine contains the influenza virus proteins matrix protein 2 ectodomain (M2e) and neuraminidase (NA). Mice were immunized with the nanoparticle vaccine before being exposed to influenza virus, and they were protected against six different strains of the virus.

The findings, which suggest this unique vaccine combination has potential as a universal influenza vaccine or component of such vaccines, are published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

“This nanoparticle antigen combination conferred mice with strong cross protection,” said Ye Wang, first author of the study and a biology Ph.D. student working in Dr. Bao-Zhong Wang’s lab in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. “It can protect mice from different strains of influenza virus. Each season, we have different flu strains that affect us. By using this approach, we hope this nanoparticle vaccine can protect humans from different strains of influenza virus.”

Read more at Georgia State University