University of Cambridge > > Worms and Bugs > The antigenic evolution of influenza: Drift or Thrift?

The antigenic evolution of influenza: Drift or Thrift?

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. Julia Gog.

One of the greatest challenges to the control of infectious disease is the degree of antigenic diversity exhibited by many pathogen populations. I will present a multilocus model for pathogen evolution that resolves the paradox that many of these populations exist, either stably or unstably, as discrete antigenic types, which may then circulate as independently transmitted strains with their own particular virulence characteristics. On the basis of this theory, we have proposed that the antigenic evolution of influenza is driven by immunity towards epitopes of limited variability (the ‘antigenic thrift’ hypothesis) rather than as a result of slow and incremental changes in highly variable epitope regions (the ‘antigenic drift’ hypothesis). An important corollary of the thrift model is that universal vaccines may be constructed by identifying such protective epitopes of low variability. We have recently identified such an epitope in the head domain of the haemagglutinin protein of H1N1 influenza that could be exploited to produce an universal vaccine for H1 influenza.

This talk is part of the Worms and Bugs series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.


© 2006-2024, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity