Centre Activities
WHO GISRS Surveillance
Training for Influenza Laboratories
Research and Collaborations
Education Opportunities
Centre Publications
Reports and Newsletters

WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza (VIDRL)
Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
792 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia

T +61 3 9342 9300
F +61 3 9342 9329

Understanding the interplay between the immune response and influenza viruses

Dr Karen Laurie
Senior Virologist
Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne
Honorary Research Fellow, School of Applied and Biomedical Sciences, Federation University

Email: karen.laurie@influenzacentre.org

Research Interests
Surveillance, epidemiological and mathematical modeling studies indicate the immune response to influenza virus can affect circulation of the virus in the community. Utilising various in vitro and in vivo systems, our research characterises immunological, virological and disease parameters to understand the impact and effect of the immune response on influenza virus infection. By understanding the mechanisms for these interactions, we can develop strategies to potentially control influenza virus infection. This research is comprised of three general aims:
  1. To determine the ability of the immune response to protect against infection with influenza virus.
    Assessing the contribution of pre-existing immunity to influenza virus to protect against newly emerging seasonal human influenza viruses.

  2. To investigate the ability of the influenza virus to evade the immune response.
    Understanding the generation of, and characterising, the antigenic influenza virus variants that may arise and transmit under immune pressure.

  3. To use the immune response as a marker of recent infection with novel influenza strains.
    Using seroepidemiological studies the impact of a novel influenza virus on a population can be determined, or the likely impact estimated.

Research projects
  1. Characterising the immune response to seasonal influenza viruses in the ferret model using real time PCR assays and biological assays.

  2. Investigating the potential for temporary immunity between influenza viruses.

  3. Understanding reassortment of influenza A viruses following co-infections.

  4. Standardisation of serological studies participation in international comparisons of established and novel assays.

  5. Assessment of the impact of influenza infection in infants in Vietnam using serology studies (with Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

  6. Standardisation of serological studies through CONSISE the Consortium for Standardisation for Influenza Seroepidemiology

Related publications
Carolan LA, Butler J, Rockman S, Guarnaccia T, Hurt AC, Reading P, Kelso A, Barr I, Laurie KL. TaqMan real time RT-PCR assays for detecting ferret innate and adaptive immune responses. J Virol Methods. 2014 May 4;205C:38-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2014.04.014. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed link

McVernon J, Laurie K, Faddy H, Irving D, Nolan T, Barr I, Kelso A. Seroprevalence of antibody to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 attributed to vaccination or infection, before and after the second (2010) pandemic wave in Australia. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2014 Mar;8(2):194-200. doi: 10.1111/irv.12225. PubMed link.

Guarnaccia T, Carolan LA, Maurer-Stroh S, Lee RT, Job E, Reading PC, Petrie S, McCaw JM, McVernon J, Hurt AC, Kelso A, Mosse J, Barr IG, Laurie KL. Antigenic drift of the pandemic 2009 A(H1N1) influenza virus in A ferret model. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(5):e1003354. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003354. PubMed link

Laurie KL, Huston P, Riley S, Katz JM, Willison DJ, Tam JS, Mounts AW, Hoschler K, Miller E, Vandemaele K, Broberg E, Van Kerkhove MD, Nicoll A. Influenza serological studies to inform public health action: best practices to optimise timing, quality and reporting. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2013 Mar;7(2):211-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-2659.2012.0370a.x. PubMed link

Laurie KL, Carolan LA, Middleton D, Lowther S, Kelso A, Barr IG. Multiple infections with seasonal influenza A virus induce cross-protective immunity against A(H1N1) pandemic influenza virus in a ferret model. J Infect Dis. 2010 Oct 1;202(7):1011-20. doi: 10.1086/656188. PubMed link

All relevant publications (PubMed listing)
All publications from the Centre

Antivirals and animal influenzas group
Epidemiology group
Early immune response group

Top of page