In a study from Georgia State University, scientists found a new universal flu vaccine may protect against diverse variants of both influenza A and B viruses.
They designed a single, universal influenza vaccine candidate with key cross-protective, less variable parts of the influenza A and B viruses
Current influenza vaccines are based on strain-specific immunity to hemagglutinin, a highly variable target of immune protection.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended, but the effectiveness of the seasonal vaccine is unpredictable and could be below 20% because of continuous changes in hemagglutinin proteins.
Therefore, influenza remains a high risk to human health worldwide.
In the study, the team found mice vaccinated with the new flu vaccine were protected against influenza A seasonal variants and pandemic potential viruses (H1N1, H5N1, H3N2, H9N2 and H7N9) and influenza B (Yamagata and Victoria lineage) viruses.
The findings provide impactful insight into developing a universal influenza vaccine inducing broad immunity against both flu A and B variants in young and aged populations.
This study supports a novel strategy for creating a universal vaccine against influenza A and B viruses.
A single construct displaying multiple cross-protective proteins has the capacity to induce immunity to M2 and multi-subtype neuraminidase proteins of influenza A and B viruses, as well as offer broad cross-protection against sickness and mortality under lethal flu virus challenges.
The study warrants further testing of this unique, universal vaccine candidate in ferrets, which have similar respiratory tracts to humans.
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The study was conducted by Dr. Sang-Moo Kang et al and published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
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