IMECS - Identification of mechanisms correlating with susceptibility for avian influenza
IMECS is a proposal of the FLUSECURE network aimed at combating the threat of new and re-emerging forms of highly pathogenic influenza in its first stages of a disease by identifying mechanisms of protection that are essential for a solid immune response to avian influenza. IMECS is uniquely featured by correlating research in humans directly to protection from influenza. The IMECS initiative was introduced since the recent H5N1 avian influenza vaccine trials results have shown limited success in inducing a protective immune response as compared to the standard human influenza vaccines.
This despite large investments and multiple vaccine formulations tested. These results make clear that the mechanisms of immunity for avian influenza are inherently different from those for human/seasonal influenza. The IMECS initiative aims to elucidate these mechanisms and aims to provide essential knowledge for development of breakthrough pandemic vaccines as a result. The initiative thereto boosts the development of AI-correlates of protection for the clinical screening of vaccine candidates in healthy adults and in different target groups, the origin of subclinical AI infection in humans, as well as a research programme for the screening of vaccine candidates in vitro.