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Antibodies triggered by avian influenza virus vaccine illuminate a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

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  • Antibodies triggered by avian influenza virus vaccine illuminate a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

    Diverse antibodies induced in humans by vaccination with an avian influenza virus vaccine may offer broader, more durable protection against multiple strains of influenza than today's vaccines typically provide, according to a study led by Florian Krammer, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Patrick Wilson, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. The research, published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, suggests new pathways toward the long-cherished goal of a "universal vaccine" that would be effective against all strains of influenza virus.


    Influenza epidemics lead to as many as half a million deaths annually around the world, according to the World Health Organization. While generally effective, vaccines against seasonal influenza must be reformulated every year at great cost based on educated guesses as to which strains of influenza virus will dominate. This dilemma is caused by "antigenic drift"a phenomenon in which gene mutations constantly alter sites on the virus that can be targeted by antibodies of a vaccinated individual. A true universal influenza vaccine would defeat antigenic drift, improve vaccine efficacy, and eliminate the constant need to reformulate vaccines and revaccinate populations at risk.

    http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-0...nza-virus.html

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