Study IGHV1-69 Gene Could Inspire Universal Flu Vaccine


A study recently published in the journal Scientific Reports focused on genetic variation in IGHV1-69, one of approximately 50 human genes that generate antibodies that recognize and protect against the common influenza A virus. Comparing antibody repertoires of blood samples from individuals who received the 2007 HSN1 flu vaccine in 2007 with samples from the 1000 Genomes Project, the authors discovered remarkable variation in IGHV1-69 genotypes and copy numbers among various ethnic groups, which may impact their response to influenza infection.

Exploration of the IGHV1-69 gene is important because flu vaccines traditionally work by targeting glycoproteins in the head region of the influenza virus. This region of the virus is prone to mutation, which is why seasonal flu vaccines must be updated annually.

IGHV1-69 is located on the stem region of the influenza virus, a more stable region less prone to mutation. If further developments can be made for vaccines that target this region of the virus, it may be possible to create a “universal” flu vaccine. Additionally, mapping genomic variation in the IGHV1-69 gene will produce genotyping tools that could be useful for predicting vaccine responsiveness at the population and individual level.

Click here to access the full publication. Additional information is available on MedPage Today

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