A meeting report summarising the outcome of the EDUFLUVAC workshop on “Immunoassay standardisation for universal influenza vaccines” was recently published on Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses journal.
The development of broadly reactive influenza vaccines raises the need to identify the most appropriate immunoassays that can be used for the evaluation of so-called “universal” influenza vaccines, and to explore a path towards the standardisation of such assays. To address this critical topic, a workshop on “Immunoassay standardisation for universal influenza vaccines” was co-organised in June 2015 by the EDUFLUVAC consortium, a European Union funded project coordinated by the European Vaccine Initiative, and the National Institutes of Health / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA.
The workshop agenda encompassed a wide range of immunoassays that can be used to assess immune responses to broadly reactive influenza vaccines, from classical serological assays to assays measuring cell mediated immunity. The workshop audience agreed that it was not possible to establish one universal immunoassay for universal influenza vaccine(s) because the approaches towards these vaccines differ significantly in their nature and immunogenicity properties. Therefore, different scientific rationales for the choice of the immunoassay selection are required for the development of different universal influenza vaccines. The meeting agreed that standardisation of the immunoassays is an important goal but that there is a long way to go. A clear need for more collaboration on harmonisation of immunoassays was identified and the European - American partnership established during the organisation of this workshop was recognised as a clear asset in this direction and will be sustained.