Flu-turistic: Scientists are developing a super influenza vaccine that can fight 20 strains

Scientists have developed a super vaccine that can fight every known strain of flu, using the same technology used in Covid vaccinations.

The experimental vaccine – which has not yet been tested in humans – offered broad protection against 20 influenza A and B subtypes in animal studies.

Given in two shots, it uses mRNA technology developed in Moderna and Pfizer’s Covid vaccines during the pandemic.

It works by providing instructions that teach cells to make copies of proteins that appear on all surfaces of influenza viruses.

This trains the body to remember how to recognize and fight future foreign invaders that carry this protein.

The hope is that the universal vaccine would give people a baseline level of immunity that would reduce hospitalizations and deaths each year.

It would also take away the guesswork that goes into developing annual vaccinations months before the flu season every year.

Currently, vaccine decisions are made based on: which flu viruses are making people sick ahead of the upcoming flu season; how widely these viruses spread; and how well equipped the body is to deal with these flu viruses based on last season’s vaccination.

It comes amid the largest flu outbreak in the US in over a decade, overwhelming hospitals and closing schools across the country.

The H3N2 strain is currently wreaking havoc, hitting the elderly and very young the hardest.

So far there is no vaccine against H3N2 infection. Scientists have taken some steps to start developing a vaccine, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no consensus on mass-producing a vaccine.

The vaccine contains genetic coding instructions for the 20 known influenza subtypes. When injected into the body, the cells make replicas of proteins found in every type of flu. These trigger an immune response in which the body makes antibodies for each flu subtype and remembers them. The immune response can be called upon when the body encounters flu in the future

The vaccine contains genetic coding instructions for the 20 known influenza subtypes. When injected into the body, the cells make replicas of proteins found in every type of flu. These trigger an immune response in which the body makes antibodies for each flu subtype and remembers them. The immune response can be called upon when the body encounters flu in the future

The vaccine contains genetic coding instructions for the 20 known influenza subtypes. When injected into the body, the cells make replicas of proteins found in every type of flu. These trigger an immune response in which the body makes antibodies for each flu subtype and remembers them. The immune response can be called upon when the body encounters flu in the future

While the new vaccine could stop future influenza pandemics, it would not be a silver bullet as it would reduce serious illness and deaths but would not completely prevent infections.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have only tested the vaccine in mice and ferrets, but are currently planning human trials.

They found that the vaccine-induced antibody levels in the tested animals remained unchanged for at least four months, the researchers noted.

‘I’ve never seen anything like it’: Doctors warn America is running out of FOUR antibiotics and flu drugs for children as children bear the brunt of ‘triple disease’

America is running out of four key antibiotics and respiratory drugs for children as seasonal bugs come back with a bang after being suppressed during lockdown.

Health officials have identified shortages of amoxicillin, an essential antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, respiratory infections and strep throat.

But local doctors are also reporting dwindling supplies of Augmentin — an antibiotic that uses amoxicillin alongside clavulanic acid — Tamiflu, the most commonly used flu drug in US hospitals, and Albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and other pulmonary symptoms.

Desperate parents report spending hours going from pharmacy to pharmacy to track down medication for their children.

The bottlenecks are driven by increasing demand. Several children’s hospitals have already reached 100 per cent capacity as rates of RSV and flu – both deadly to teenagers – soar to their highest levels in a decade this time of year.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Scott Hensley, professor of microbiology at the university, said: “The idea here is to have a vaccine that gives people a baseline level of immune memory for different strains of flu, so there will be far less disease and death when the next flu pandemic occurs .”

He added: “We believe this vaccine could significantly reduce the chance of ever getting a serious flu infection.”

The new vaccine uses part of a genetic code called mRNA and gives instructions to cells, allowing them to make copies of proteins called hemagglutinin, which appear on influenza virus surfaces.

These stimulate an immune response in which the body makes antibodies to each flu virus and remembers it.

Current flu shots cannot do this because they rely on a tiny physical piece of the weakened strain of flu.

Vaccination is not expected to completely stop influenza infections, but it will reduce the chance of serious illness and death from new strains of the virus.

And it means people are effectively immunized against 20 types of influenza in one fell swoop.

The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccines are both mRNA shots — an underutilized technology prior to its mainstream adoption during the pandemic.

Víctor Jiménez Cid, Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid, said: “This is the first high-impact publication presenting a successful strategy for a ‘universal’ mRNA-based vaccine against influenza. ‘

He added: “This type of vaccine would therefore prevent possible emerging pandemic viruses in addition to seasonal influenza.”

The study was published in the journal Science.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/flu-turistic-scientists-create-super-influenza-vaccine-that-can-fight-20-strains/ Flu-turistic: Scientists are developing a super influenza vaccine that can fight 20 strains

Brian Ashcraft

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