Universal influenza vaccine

Category: Archive File Medical biotechnology Medicines Virus
Tag: #antibodies #influence #Medicines #vaccine #Virus

The vaccine that many people get every year to protect themselves against the different viral strains of flu may no longer be necessary. It is the promise of a universal vaccine that lasts "forever", or as some say "for all eternity", and could prove to be an effective weapon in the event of a pandemic. Clinical trials have begun at the University of Oxford: if the results confirm the researchers' expectations, the serum could be ready for use within five years. At the moment these are still small-scale tests: 12 volunteers have been recruited, but if the universal vaccine proves to be safe above all, the trials will be expanded, involving an ever-increasing number of patient-volunteers. Currently available flu serums work by unleashing antibodies against the H and N proteins on the surface of the virus. However, it is a target that changes according to the viral strain: for this reason, vaccines must be adapted from time to time. And a new injection is needed every year. The British team, led by Sarah Gilbert, has changed its strategy. The product under study is based on internal proteins, which are much more similar to each other even among different viral strains. It is "constructed" using a smallpox virus rendered harmless, which serves to transport proteins in the body: the same technique used against TB. Once the virus has invaded cells and started multiplying, our T cells learn to recognize and destroy proteins whenever they encounter them. If all goes as the researchers hope, "once you receive the vaccine – underlines Gilbert – you are immunized against all flu strains, a bit like measles. It will no longer be necessary to get vaccinated every year, but to undergo boosters every 5-10 years at the most ». Two companies – the British PepTcell and the Swiss Cytos – are also currently working on universal flu vaccines. [photos and more info ]

Published: 2022-12-28From: Marketing

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