The 2nd WHO Informal Consultation for Improving Influenza Vaccine Virus Selection
7 to 9 December 2011
Centre International de Conférences de Genève (CICG)
WHO consultations for vaccine virus selection take place twice a year and play a critical role in seasonal influenza vaccine composition and subsequent development and production of influenza vaccines for the northern and southern hemispheres.
Significant improvements to influenza vaccine virus selection have been made over the years through concerted efforts to strengthen the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) by increasing the number, quality, timeliness and geographical distribution of influenza virus isolates analysed by WHO Collaborating Centres (CCs) and National Influenza Centres (NICs); adapting laboratory assays and adopting new methods to enhance the vaccine virus selection. However, limitations remain with respect to the amount and timeliness of data available at the time decisions must be made, the laboratory technology used to characterize viruses and the methods used to analyse the data.
With improved awareness of influenza as an important global disease, increasing demand for influenza vaccines, development of new laboratory tests, and emerging new and high throughput technologies, the 1st WHO Informal Consultation took place from 14 to 16 June 2010 in Geneva in order to improve the process of influenza vaccine virus selection by providing a platform for exploration and potential application of new approaches and technologies.
The 2nd WHO Consultation from 7-9 December 2011 will be a follow-up meeting, as recommended by experts from the 1st WHO Consultation in 2010.
Scope and objectives
The meeting aims to improve the influenza vaccine virus selection process through exploring ways to improve the extent, timeliness and quality of virological and epidemiological surveillance data; the development and application of new assays and new modelling approaches; the understanding of the relationship between virus characteristics and vaccine efficacy; and the general understanding of regulatory considerations.
The consultation will bring together influenza experts from around the world to review and discuss:
- Surveillance issues related to increasing the number and timeliness of representative viruses for vaccine virus selection and candidate vaccine virus reassortment;
- Development of new assays and their potential use for vaccine virus selection;
- Development of new technology and tools for their potential use for vaccine virus selection including the correlation of antigenicity of viruses with genetic properties and vaccine efficacy as well as potential predictive modelling approaches;
- Vaccine regulatory implications for the development of new technologies, materials and products relevant to vaccine virus selection; and
- Next steps on this subject.
Participants (by invitation)
- WHO Collaborating Centres for Influenza of GISRS
- National Influenza Centres
- WHO Essential Regulatory Laboratories
- National Regulatory Authorities
- Research and academic laboratories, institutions and organizations
- Veterinary institutions and organizations
- Human influenza vaccine manufacturers
- Recapitulation of last meeting in June 2010
- Strengthening influenza surveillance to support vaccine virus selection
- Improved number and representativeness of viruses in GISRS
- Improved timeliness of data available from GISRS partners
- Improved number of isolates appropriate for development of candidate reassortants
- Development and implementation of new assays to improve vaccine virus selection
- Improvements in assay development since the last meeting
- Standardization and use of neutralization data
- New technology and tools for improving influenza vaccine virus selection
- Association of antigenic and genetic properties
- Application of new bioinformatics tools to genetic analysis and vaccine virus selection
- Improved understanding of antigenicity relating to efficacy of vaccines
- Improved understanding of genetic markers for improved growth of influenza candidate vaccine viruses
- Considerations from regulatory and new vaccine development perspective
If you wish to participate in this meeting at your own cost, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 11 November 2011 to express your interest and to provide your full contact details. WHO will review the requests received and issue official invitation letters. No registration fee is required.