Since the establishment of reverse genetics techniques to manipulate the influenza virus genome, it has been possible to study viral molecular signatures responsible for virulence, and the generation of novel and improved vaccine strains. Moreover, high throughput screen technologies combined with functional genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics are now been used to identify novel mechanisms associated with virus replication and pathogenicity, as well as novel antivirals. Finally recombinant technologies can now be applied for the generation of broadly neutralizing influenza virus vaccines that could eliminate the need for annual vaccination and prevent pandemics by inducing protective immunity against conserved epitope shared by all influenza virus strains.
1. Current influenza vaccines and antivirals are useful, but not optimal
2. New technologies allow the discovery of improved influenza antivirals and vaccines