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Scientists are working on a universal flu vaccine
- September 6, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
Each year, researchers in the field of pharmacological medicine are forced to invent new configurations of antiviral drugs – this is especially true for influenza vaccines. Influenza strains adapt to drugs from year to year, which makes it necessary to look for new ways to effectively combat them. So, the research team from Oxford University today released its new study on the possibility of counteracting adaptive strains of the influenza virus by using the so-called epitopes, which are an integral part of the viral bacterium, which practically did not change over time.
In fact, even earlier, experts found those areas of viral bacteria that have developed most slowly throughout history – which gives tangible chances for the development of the so-called universal flu vaccine. However, previous studies were mainly based on the study of the internal, deep structures of the viral bacterium. Oxford specialists decided to pay attention again to the “heads” with which bacteria attach to immune cells – they were able to establish that their structure contains the so-called epitopes – sections of the heads of bacteria that, with an increase in the adaptability of the bacteria themselves, practically do not change in their chemical composition .
Syringe, medical injection in hand. Vaccination equipment with needle.
After conducting several tests on experimental mice using influenza virus strains from 2006 and 1977, scientists came to the conclusion that later strains constitute a really stable “line of defense” against earlier ones – provided that the mice themselves were not exposed before exposure to earlier influenza virus strains.
Thus, the findings of the researchers have a promising character, essentially bringing closer the possibility of developing a universal vaccine against the influenza virus – which will attack primarily those sections of viral bacteria that develop and adapt most slowly. This approach becomes really excellent and rational in the long run, as in theory it will eliminate the need to develop a new strain of antiviral drugs every year.