Universal flu vaccine works in animals

A new vaccine that targets a part of the influenza virus common to many viral strains has been developed and found to be effective in animal studies

A vaccine candidate has demonstrated its unique ability to elicit a broad and protective immune response against influenza type A group 1 viruses in mice and nonhuman primates. In the image, micrograph of the influenza virus

For a long time, researchers have wanted to create a vaccine effective against a broad range of influenza strains to avoid having to formulate a different vaccine each year. 

Researchers at Janssen and Scripps Research Institute in California created a vaccine using the stem of the viral protein hemagglutinin that is common to many strains. They first had to modify the protein so that it was structurally stable, ensuring that it elicits an effective immune response. 

After a number of rounds of modifications, the final vaccine candidate completely protected mice and reduced fever symptoms in nonhuman primates exposed to influenza type A group 1 viruses, report the authors in Science on 24 August 2015[1]


[1] Impagliazzo A, Milder F, Kuipers H, et al. A stable trimeric influenza hemagglutinin stem as a broadly protective immunogen. Science 2015. doi: 10.1126/science.aac7263.


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 12 September 2015, Vol 295, No 7879;295(7879):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20069243

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