Studies on the diversity of swine influenza viruses and how to exploit it for vaccination

Parys, Anna
Faculteit Diergeneeskunde
Vakgroep Translationele Fysiologie, Infectiologie en Volksgezondheid
Anna Parys was born in Asse, Belgium on the 23rd of December, 1993. In 2012, she completed her secondary education, option Latin-Mathematics at Sint-Jozefsinstituut in Ternat. Thereafter, she started her university studies at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. During her studies, Anna participated in the Honours Programme in Life Sciences. In 2018, she obtained her Master of Science summa cum laude. Her master thesis focused on heterologous prime-boost vaccination against human and swine H3N2 influenza viruses in the pig model and was conducted at the Laboratory of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University. Afterwards, Anna continued working in the Laboratory of Virology as a PhD student. Her research focused on the pig as a model for development of broadly protective influenza A virus vaccines and surveillance of swine influenza viruses and their public health implications. The first 3 years of her studies were funded by the Research Fund of Ghent University (BOF) (grant no. 01J102017) and during her last year, Anna was funded by the Belgian Federal Service for Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (CORUVA; grant no. RF 21/6347). She is author and co-author of multiple scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals, gave presentations at national and international conferences and supervised students of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine during their master thesis.
Academische graad
Doctor in de diergeneeskundige wetenschappen
Taal proefschrift
Prof. dr. Kristien Van Reeth, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent - Prof. dr. Xavier Saelens, Center for Medical Biotechnology, VIB UGent

Korte beschrijving

Influenza is a zoonotic virus that causes a health and economic burden to both humans and swine. Although both species are susceptible to the same influenza A virus (IAV) subtypes (H1N1 and H3N2), the epidemiology of IAVs differs substantially between both host species, but also between geographically separated swine populations. In 2011, a new influenza serotype, influenza D (IDV), has been associated with respiratory disease in swine. Currently, inactivated IAV vaccines are most frequently used for vaccination of humans and swine. These vaccines generally fail to induce protection against IAV strains that are antigenically different from the vaccine strains. Therefore, more broadly protective vaccines and/or vaccination strategies are urgently needed. Heterologous prime-boost vaccination is one strategy that has been shown to induce broadly cross-reactive antibodies and cross-protection in various influenza viral hosts, including swine.


Donderdag 15 december 2022, 17:00
Diergeneeskunde Aud Maximum, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke

After the defence, a reception will be held. If you would like to attend the reception, please register before December 9th via e-mail at The defence can also be attended via livestream. Please send an e-mail to to receive a personal invitation.