DIVINCI: A Flu Research Initiative

St. Jude and University of Michigan study how the flu affects the immune system

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The DIVINCI research study, led by St. Jude and University of Michigan, helps us learn how the immune system protects the body against future flu exposure.

Influenza, or flu, is a major health concern around the world. Many people first encounter the flu when they are babies or children. Scientists believe that event can help the immune system protect the person from flu later in life.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Michigan leads the DIVINCI Consortium. DIVINCI stands for Dissection of Influenza Vaccination and Infection for Childhood Immunity. This study explores how flu affects the developing immune system. Scientists will look at how flu infection and flu vaccines change the body’s response to the virus over time.

Researchers will enroll about 3,000 children in the study, including 2,000 newborns, from sites around the world. The study includes 12 centers in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Nicaragua.

For Parents

A doctor from the study will talk to you about enrolling your baby before he or she is born. Participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you decide to participate, someone from the study will talk to you about the study and answer any questions you have.

Once your baby is born, a doctor or nurse will take a small amount of blood for testing. Your child will donate a blood sample each year until about age 18.

This will help scientists learn how the first exposure to flu affects the lifelong immune response throughout life. Scientists also want to find out how early flu exposure affects the different immune cells in the body. These include B cells, antibodies and T cells.

This study also gives scientists a chance to find new flu vaccines to better protect against the virus.

You may be concerned when your baby has blood taken for a test. The nurse or doctor will make sure you and your child are comfortable with the process. If you have questions about the blood draw, please ask your doctor.

DIVINCI Principal Investigators

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