Live attenuated influenza vaccine

  • Harry Greenberg
  • George Kemble
Part of the Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases book series (BAID)


Development of the live, attenuated influenza vaccine, FluMist®, has spanned several decades. The vaccine contains three vaccine strains, two attenuated influenza A strains and one attenuated influenza B strain; these vaccine strains are genetic reassortants each harboring two gene segments from the wild type virus conferring the appropriate antigens (e.g. A/H3N2, A/H1N1 or B) and the remaining 6 gene segments of the live, attenuated influenza A or influenza B donor virus. Both donor viruses have complex genetic signatures that control the key biological traits of the resulting genetic reassortants, including temperature-sensitivity in vitro and attenuation in an animal model, and the overall attenuation of the vaccine. Studies in humans have demonstrated that the attenuated vaccine strains can elicit humoral antibodies as well as cellular immunity; both responses are generally more readily detectable in children than adults. A number of different clinical studies in children and adults have shown that this vaccine can reduce the burden of influenza illness in vaccinated subjects, including seasons in which the circulating wild type strain was antigenically drifted from the antigens included in the vaccine. These attributes, and others, of the live vaccine make it a potentially useful platform to generate an effective vaccine to combat a future influenza pandemic.


Influenza Virus Influenza Vaccine Vaccine Strain Gene Segment Wild Type Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Greenberg
    • 1
    • 3
  • George Kemble
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and ImmunologyStanford University School of MedicineStanford
  2. 2.MedImmune VaccinesMountain ViewUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA

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