Table of Contents
Influenza Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 267594, 9 pages
Review Article

Passive Broad-Spectrum Influenza Immunoprophylaxis

1Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, WA 6150, Australia
2Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 10 September 2014; Published 22 September 2014

Academic Editor: John M. Nicholls

Copyright © 2014 Cassandra M. Berry et al. 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.


Influenza is a perennial problem affecting millions of people annually with the everpresent threat of devastating pandemics. Active prophylaxis by vaccination against influenza virus is currently the main countermeasure supplemented with antivirals. However, disadvantages of this strategy include the impact of antigenic drift, necessitating constant updating of vaccine strain composition, and emerging antiviral drug resistance. The development of other options for influenza prophylaxis, particularly with broad acting agents able to provide protection in the period between the onset of a pandemic and the development of a strain specific vaccine, is of great interest. Exploitation of broad-spectrum mediators could provide barricade protection in the early critical phase of influenza virus outbreaks. Passive immunity has the potential to provide immediate antiviral effects, inhibiting virus replication, reducing virus shedding, and thereby protecting vulnerable populations in the event of an impending influenza pandemic. Here, we review passive broad-spectrum influenza prophylaxis options with a focus on harnessing natural host defenses, including interferons and antibodies.