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New Flu Vaccine Fights All Strains Of Flu

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New Flu Vaccine Fights All Strains Of Flu

A new flu jab could immunize against all strains of flu…

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern have developed a new type of flu vaccine that can protect the body from all strains of the virus.

The major problem that plagues flu vaccines is that currents solutions only protect against one strain of the virus. This means every year doctors must carefully guess which strain will become the most dominate, and then engineer a weakened version of that particular virus to administer as a vaccine.

new flu vaccine 550x366 New Flu Vaccine Fights All Strains Of Flu

New Flu Vaccine Protects Against All Strains Of Flu

Image Credit: USACE, 2000.

Whilst the small amount of the virus does a good enough job at preparing the body’s antibodies to fight off the real thing, it can do nothing to stop the onslaught of a mutated virus.

The team led by Dr. Beatrice Fontoura, devised a completely different approach, which involves boosting the body’s immune system to fight an infection, not a particular virus, and this method offers resistance even if the virus mutates.

The vaccine works by boosting the presence of a protein called REDD-1. F in the body. The team found that when REDD-1. F levels are low, the flu virus can easily infect cells. However, when the amount of the protein is increased, it creates a shield around the cell that stops the virus infecting it.

This method has so far proved so successful that can even protect us against the Spanish Flu, the H1N1 influenza virus responsible for the death of 50 -100 million in 1918. It can also protect against the deadly H1N1 swine flu virus, was estimated to have infected 11% to 21% of the worlds population in 2009.

Unfortunately the vaccine is still not ready for mass distribution yet. The team must now begin the long process of seeking FDA approval for the U.S. Market, a process that could take years.


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