Project 186 – Understanding immunity to influenza in children

24 Jan 2019

Prof. Katie Flanagan- $43,945

 

Millions of people each year get infected with the influenza virus or flu, many of whom die. Young children are particularly susceptible to severe disease and death from flu. This is likely to be due to differences in the child’s immune system compared to adults who are less susceptible, however very little is known about children’s immune responses to flu.Flu vaccination is currently the best protection against the virus, however it provides 60% protection at best and only works against certain types of flu. Therefore better vaccines are needed. We can only develop better vaccines if we understand what parts of the immune response to flu are important in protecting us. This study aims to provide this information by studying the immune cells in blood and tonsils of healthy children in order to understand how their immunity to flu differs from that of adults.