‘Universal’ Flu Vaccine Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial

‘Universal’ Flu Vaccine Shows Promise in Early-Stage Trial

The trial, conducted in the US, involved 65 people and found that it produces a strong immune response that can last up to 18 months after inoculation.

A vaccine that induces an immune response to a broad spectrum of influenza virus strains and subtypes has shown promising results during the first human clinical trial. Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai (New York, USA), presented the findings of their study this Monday in the journal Nature Medicine.

The phase 1 clinical trial of the new vaccine evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine in 65 participants in the US and found that it produces a strong immune response that can last up to 18 months after inoculation.

Unlike conventional vaccines that induce neutralizing antibodies that target the distal part of hemagglutinin (HA, a protein in the viral envelope that helps the pathogen interact and enter the cell’s receptors), the new vaccines seek to target to another part of the HA that is less susceptible to mutations, thus neutralizing different strains of virus.

“An influenza virus vaccine that results in broad immunity would likely protect against any emerging influenza virus subtype or strain and significantly improve our preparedness for a pandemic, avoiding future problems with influenza pandemics such as those we now see with the covid-19, “said Florian Krammer, author of the study.

“The good thing about this vaccine is that it is not only broad, but also multifunctional with stem-specific antibodies that can neutralize many types of influenza viruses,” emphasized Adolfo García-Sastre, director of the Institute for Global Health and Emerging Pathogens and co-author of the study.

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