Research suggests that vaccinations against rare strains of bird flu would be highly effective against a broad range of influenza viruses

A Universal Flu Vaccine: Could Rare Flu Strains be the Answer?

In Antibodies, Featured on App, Flu, News by Cecile2 Comments

Research suggests that vaccinations against rare strains of bird flu would be highly effective against a broad range of influenza viruses

A study by the Emory Vaccine Centre in Atlanta has found that exposure to rare and uncommon flu strains results in the production of broadly effective antibodies. The study thus begs the question: should the public be vaccinated against rare strains of the bird flu?

The key to producing an effective universal flu vaccine is to target the part of influenza viruses that does not readily mutate (Known as the stem of the virus), and is universal to a broad range of flu virus strains. The parts of influenza viruses that readily mutate and change structure (the head of the virus) can easily evade the immune response elicited by vaccines.

The study, led by Dr.Ali Ellebedy, foudn that volunteers who received an H5N1 vaccine produced four times more broadly effective antibodies compared to those who hadn’t received this vaccine.

Interestingly, however, an extra booster shot of he vaccine did not result in significantly more broad antibodies being produced, and in fact, produced antibodies targeting the head of the H5N1 virus. This suggests that only one dose would be required for the administration of an effective universal flu vaccine.

Read more about it here: Rare flu strains could be key to super-vaccine

Comments

  1. Ed Rybicki

    Need some accuracy here: using terms like “the head/stem of the virus” are misleading, when what you mean is the head or stem of the HAEMAGGLUTININ molecule that is found on the surface of virus particles.

    Otherwise – thanks, interesting!

  2. Cecile Borkhataria

    Hi Ed, thanks for your comment. I was trying to keep the article
    accessible and convey the main message, but you are correct with your
    terms. Thanks for the input.

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