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Could a Topical Cream Enhance Flu Vaccine's Efficacy?

September 06, 2018 / National Institutes of Health

A Phase 1 clinical trial examining whether a topical cream can enhance the immune response conferred by a “pre-pandemic” influenza vaccine is underway at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Investigators are evaluating whether imiquimod cream, which is commonly used to treat genital warts and certain skin cancers, can boost the body’s immune response to an H5N1 influenza vaccine. The trial is enrolling 50 healthy adults ages 18-50 years. Baylor is one of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) a network of clinical research sites that can rapidly enroll large volunteer cohorts to evaluate experimental vaccines against infectious diseases. The VTEUs are funded and managed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.