A conserved 15 amino-acid residue sequence of the ectodomain of the M2 protein of influenza A virus (M2e) induces a strong antibody (Ab) response when incorporated into a synthetic lipopeptide vaccine candidate containing a T-helper epitope from influenza A hemagglutinin and the dendritic cell-targeting lipid moiety S-[2,3-bis(palmitoyloxy)propyl]cysteine (Pam2Cys). Abs elicited by the truncated M2e sequence were specific for the M2 protein of influenza A virus and were also capable of binding to cells that were infected with influenza A viruses of different subtypes. The Ab titres against the lipopeptide were similar in magnitude to those elicited by the full-length (23 residue) M2e peptide when administered in Freund's adjuvant. Abs to the truncated M2e sequence were also able to significantly reduce the viral load in airways of BALB/c mice after challenge with live influenza virus.

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