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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

US : Researchers take step to 'universal' flu vaccine

Via Reuters :

" A "headless" version of the influenza virus protected mice from several different strains of flu and may offer a step toward a so-called universal flu vaccine, researchers reported on Tuesday.

They identified a piece of the virus that appears to be the same even among mutated strains, and found a way to make it into a vaccine.

Years of work lie ahead but if it works in people the way it worked in mice, the new vaccine might transform the way people are now immunized against influenza, the team at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York reported.

"We now report progress toward the goal of an influenza virus vaccine which would protect against multiple strains," Dr. Peter Palese, Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre and colleagues report in a new journal mBio, available here.

"Current influenza vaccines are effective against only a narrow range of influenza virus strains. It is for this reason that new vaccines must be generated and administered each year."

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