Multi-epitope peptide-based and vaccinia-based universal influenza vaccine candidates subjected to clinical trials

Syazwani Romeli, Sharifah Syed Hassan, Wei Boon Yap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In light of the limited protection conferred by current influenza vaccines, immunisation using universal influenza vaccines has been proposed for protection against all or most influenza sub-types. The fundamental principle of universal influenza vaccines is based on conserved antigens found in most influenza strains, such as matrix 2, nucleocapsid, matrix 1 and stem of hemagglutinin proteins. These antigens trigger cross-protective immunity against different influenza strains. Many researchers have attempted to produce the conserved epitopes of these antigens in the form of peptides in the hope of generating universal influenza vaccine candidates that can broadly induce cross-reactive protection against influenza viral infections. However, peptide vaccines are poorly immunogenic when applied individually owing to their small molecular sizes. Hence, strategies, such as combining peptides as multi-epitope vaccines or presenting peptides on vaccinia virus particles, are employed. This review discusses the clinical and laboratory findings of several multi-epitope peptide vaccine candidates and vaccinia-based peptide vaccines. The majority of these vaccine candidates have reached the clinical trial phase. The findings in this study will indeed shed light on the applicability of universal influenza vaccines to prevent seasonal and pandemic influenza outbreaks in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalMalaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Conserved region
  • Influenza virus
  • Multi-epitope peptide
  • Universal vaccine
  • Vaccination

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