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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 504831, 11 pages
Review Article

Current and Emerging Cell Culture Manufacturing Technologies for Influenza Vaccines

Department of Bioengineeringt, McGill University, Macdonald Engineering Building, 817 Sherbrooke Street W, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 0C3

Received 3 December 2014; Revised 5 February 2015; Accepted 16 February 2015

Academic Editor: Gregory Tannock

Copyright © 2015 Ernest Milián and Amine A. Kamen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Annually, influenza virus infects millions of people worldwide. Vaccination programs against seasonal influenza infections require the production of hundreds of million doses within a very short period of time. The influenza vaccine is currently produced using a technology developed in the 1940s that relies on replicating the virus in embryonated hens’ eggs. The monovalent viral preparation is inactivated and purified before being formulated in trivalent or tetravalent influenza vaccines. The production process has depended on a continuous supply of eggs. In the case of pandemic outbreaks, this mode of production might be problematic because of a possible drastic reduction in the egg supply and the low flexibility of the manufacturing process resulting in a lack of supply of the required vaccine doses in a timely fashion. Novel production systems using mammalian or insect cell cultures have emerged to overcome the limitations of the egg-based production system. These industrially well-established production systems have been primarily selected for a faster and more flexible response to pandemic threats. Here, we review the most important cell culture manufacturing processes that have been developed in recent years for mass production of influenza vaccines.