Lifelong Universal Flu Vaccine

The research team from the Center for Virology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL) has developed experimental samples of a multi-vaccine that provides lifelong protection from flu. An unusual vaccine contains the genome of the 4 most common strains of influenza.

The experiment was conducted in mice, infected with nine variants of influenza. A group of mice that received a standard vaccination became completely ill after the exposure to deadly doses of viruses. The second group received a new vaccine in the usual amount. The mice survived seven of the nine varieties of flu. The third group received an increased dose of the multi-vaccine – none of the mice even got infected.

The difficulties in creating a long-lasting vaccine against influenza are associated with rapid mutation of viruses and a long incubation period in carriers. Standard methods for creating a vaccine are associated with the use of weakened or dead viruses that produce immunity against hemagglutinin, a protein that attacks healthy cells. To replace the traditional dead viruses, scientists from the UNL have chosen adenoviruses that provoke the appearance of a cold. The selected adenoviruses have undergone modification. They were given the “ability” to transport “centralized antigens” of strains of influenza (H1, H2, H3, and H5) into the body.

The method is based on the research work of Bette Korber, who studied the human ancestral genome and determined that the genes of the immunodeficiency virus had passed to the Homo Sapiens from the monkey. The scientists from the UNL led by Eric Weaver decided to synthesize the central genes in a similar way, trying to find the basis of the influenza virus. According to Weaver, the idea was that these centralized antigens can create the basis of immunity against influenza. Since they represent all strains equally, they can provide a basis for immunity against all known strains of influenza.

According to the researchers, it’s too early to talk about inventing a panacea for influenza that is suitable for humans. However, the direction in which further research will be carried out has been determined. The main task of the scientific findings is to create a vaccine with a lifelong effect.

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