A.A. Smorodintsev Department of Virology

Head of the Department

Rudenko Larisa Georgievna,
доктор медицинских наук, профессор, Заслуженный деятель науки Российской Федерации

e-mail: rudenko.lg@iemspb.ru

Phone: (812) 234-92-14

Deputy Head of the Department

Rekstin Andrey Roaldovich,
кандидат биологических наук

e-mail: rekstin.ar@iemspb.ru

Phone: (812) 234-42-92

Scientific secretary

Grigoreva Elena Petrovna,
кандидат медицинских наук

e-mail: grigorieva.ep@iemspb.ru

Phone: (812) 234-68-60

The Department consists of:

History of A.A. Smorodintsev Department of Virology

In 1946, the Department of Virology was founded at the Institute of Experimental Medicine with the help of an outstanding Russian virologist, Academician of the USSR Academy of Medical Sciences Anatoly Smorodintsev in 1946. The development of many antiviral linked with the name of A.A. Smorodintsev, which allow Russian virology to occupy advanced positions in the world.

In 1933, Anatoly Smorodintsev suggested in terms of laboratory and clinical and epidemiological studies not the bacterial, but the viral nature of the influenza. In the same year, his British colleagues were able to isolate the first influenza virus from a sick person, which was called ‘Influenza A virus’. However, A.A. Smorodintsev studies in the field of influenza were not only theoretical. The great work had begun on the creation of an influenza vaccine. The A.A. Smorodintsev study was dedicated to influenza vaccination were published in the most respected medical journal. It was the British journal ‘The Lancet’. The first samples of influenza vaccines were created in 1939. Scientific interests of Anatoly Alexandrovich hadn’t been limited to the study of influenza. He developed and introduced vaccines against Poliomyelitis, against Tick-borne encephalitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, described Hemorrhagic Nephrosonephritis and two-wave Meningoencephalitis.

A.A. Smorodintsev is the first researcher of antiviral (anti-influenza) immunity. He characterized the primary and secondary immune response to influenza viruses from the point of view of production of serum virus-neutralizing antibodies in the experiments in vivo. Their role in the formation of immune complexes was proved. A.A. Smorodintsev described the development of post-infectious and post-vaccine systemic humoral immunity to influenza A and B viruses, and described the role of anti-hemagglutinating antibodies.

In 1987, the Department of Virology had been given the name of A.A. Smorodintsev. The Department of Virology had been headed by Professor Galina Ibragimovna Alexandrova from 1987 to 2001. Professor Alexandrova is a well-known specialist in the development of a live influenza vaccine.

Larisa Georgievna Rudenko an Honored Scientist of The Russian Federation became the head of the Department in 2001.

The main areas of research

The main attention of the Department’s research interests are focused on deciphering the genetic basis of the attenuation and virulence of viruses, the nature of antiviral immunity and the development of effective antiviral drugs to protect against influenza and other acute respiratory infections.

The development and implementation of a live influenza reassortant vaccine into Public Health practice was the result of the research of the Department in the field of influenza prevention. It had happened in 1987. The vaccine had been proved to be a harmless and highly effective drug for all age groups, according to clinical trials and post-marketing observations. A trivalent live influenza vaccine that protects the circulating varieties of the human influenza virus A (H1N1), A (H3N2) and B had been used to prevent influenza in the most susceptible populations in Russia, since the 1990s.

Live influenza vaccine is a priority of Russian science. A similar drug had registered in the United States only in 2003. Since 2003, a live influenza vaccine has been registered and used as a single drug for all age groups, covering children from 3 years old, adults and elderly people suffering from chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, lungs and diabetes mellitus. The Department had developed conditions for protection against influenza using a live vaccine for elderly people suffering from various chronic diseases.

Nowadays, many researches in the Department under the leadership of L.G. Rudenko are dedicated to developing of a live influenza vaccine based on pandemic and potentially pandemic influenza virus variants for the prevention of influenza among various age groups. Vaccine strains against potentially pandemic influenza viruses of the avian origin are developing. The mechanisms of the virus – virus and virus – host interaction are being studied. New approaches to assess the state of human immunological memory in terms of the need for vaccination are being developed.

For many years, the Department of Virology has been conducting research in the field of influenza in collaboration with leading research centers and large pharmaceutical companies abroad. The work has been carrying out with the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA), Melbourne University of Technology (Australia); BioDiem LTD (Australia); Merck Co (USA); Akzo Nobel (Holland).

In 2014, Professor L.G. Rudenko was awarded the ‘Order of Friendship’ for the development of international scientific cooperation.
In 2009, the world had been swept out by the new wave of the influenza pandemic of A/California (H1N1) pdm virus. A strain of live influenza pandemic vaccine had been prepared in the Department of Virology as soon as possible. The strain passed preclinical and clinical trials successfully. The strain began to produce that time. It is still using for the vaccination of population of Russia. The pandemic live influenza vaccine developed in A.A. Smorodintsev Department of Virology is included in the WHO global plan to combat the new pandemic.

A new Agreement was signed between WHO and the Institute of Experimental Medicine on March 24, 2009. According to the Agreement, the Department of Virology ought to prepare the vaccine strains of the live influenza vaccine for the WHO to produce seasonal and pandemic vaccines to developing countries.

The WHO allocated a grant of $4 million to the Institute of Experimental Medicine for the reconstruction of the Department of the Virology in accordance with international bio-safety standards.

The construction of such a unique laboratory is very useful and important for Russia. It affords to prepare vaccine strains for seasonal live influenza vaccines, which produced in our country in perfect conditions. Moreover, it makes possible to work with highly pathogenic viruses in the case of a pandemic.

The live influenza vaccine is administered in a simple intranasal manner. It provides protection at an earlier time after vaccination and protects against wider range of influenza viruses if compare with an inactivated influenza vaccine. The live vaccine may be effective after a single dose in the event of a pandemic.

Nowadays, a number of pharmaceutical companies from India, China, and Thailand have joined this project. The first time the influenza pandemic live influenza vaccine of virus A/California (H1N1) pdm was registered in Thailand and India in 2010. This live vaccine bases on Russian vaccine strains and uses Russian technology. The Serum Institute of India registered a seasonal live influenza vaccine too. The production of the preparation have begun in 2014. Clinical trials of seasonal live influenza vaccine are ongoing in these countries.

The project was supported by the biotechnological company BioDiem LTD (Australia). The Institute of Experimental Medicine has an Agreement with this company. According to the Agreement, a commercialization of the live influenza vaccine should be in the territories, excluding the Russian Federation.
Currently, the Department implements a number of projects to create a universal vaccine against influenza and the development of vector vaccines against viral and viral bacterial infections, which are supported by grants from the Russian Science Foundation, the Government of the Russian Federation and the World Health Organization.

Theses of the research assistants of the department over the past 5 years

Doctorate theses:

  1. Larionova N.V. Influenza causative agent: Variability in nature and experiment // Diss. Dr. Bio. Sciences, specialty 03.02.02. Virology. SPB, 2018.
  2. Isakova-Sivak I.N. Molecular-genetic approaches of optimization of the influenza vaccine // Diss. Dr. Bio. Sciences,03.02.02. Virology. SPB, 2018.

Candidate’s theses:

  1. Dubrovina I.A. The transmissibility of modern strains of influenza virus in in vivo experiments // Ph.D. Specialty: Sciences 03.02.02 – Virology. M., 2013.
  2. Fedorova E.A. Characteristics of influenza virus affecting the humoral immune response in an experiment and during vaccination // Ph.D. Specialty: Sciences 03.02.02 – Virology. M., 2015.
  3. Bazhenova E.A. Features of the reassortment of modern influenza virus strains with donors for attenuation of live influenza vaccine // Ph.D. Specialty: Sciences 03.02.02 – Virology. M., 2015.
  4. Nikiforova A.N. Safety and immunogenicity of a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine with a new adjuvant // Ph.D. Specialty: Sciences 03.02.02 – Virology. SPB, 2015.
  5. Losev I.V. Features of the development of an adaptive immune response to influenza viruses A (H5N1), A (H5N2) and A (H2N2) // Ph.D. Specialty: Sciences 03.02.02 – Virology. SPB, 2017.

Academic titles received by the research assistants of the department over the past 5 years:

  1. Kiseleva I. V. – Associate Professor in Virology (2013)
  2. Kiseleva I. V. – Professor in Virology (2018)
  3. Desheva J. A. – Associate Professor in Virology (2013)

Patents obtained by the research assistants of the department over the past 5 years:

Technologies obtained by the research assistants of the department over the past 5 years:

The most significant publications over the past 5 years