Influenza Vaccine That Guards Against All Strains Could Be Developed
An influenza vaccine that protects against all pandemic strains of the infection could be developed after a volunteer in a medical study had an unusual reaction to the flu virus.
Scientists analyzed a group of people who had either been infected with or vaccinated against the flu, reports The Guardian.
Tests revealed one participant who produced a "super-antibody" that could fight off every strain of influenza A, the virus responsible for mass outbreaks of the illness.
The person produced too little of the super-antibody to make them immune to the flu, but scientists believe they can boost its effect, and use it to create vaccines against the virus.
In preliminary tests, researchers showed that injecting mice and ferrets with the super-antibody protected the animals against doses of influenza that would normally be lethal.
Antonio Lanzavecchia is the director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzone, Switzerland.
"What we can do now is mass-produce this super-antibody and give it as a therapeutic,” he told The Guardian.
"This could be developed to treat any influenza A infection and prevent any possible new pandemic that will come out,” Lanzavecchia said.
“We expect it will block not only the strains that circulate in humans but also those that are present in animals," he added.