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A once-in-a-lifetime flu jab that fights off all strains of the disease is on its way
07-16-2010, 10:13 AM,
#1
Vaccine that will protect against every type of flu
Quote:They believe they have solved the problem of designing a "one fits all" jab using a new two-step approach to immunisation.

Early safety trials of the vaccine have already started and it could be tested on patients as early as 2013.

Working with mice, ferrets and monkeys, the US team "primed" the immune system with a "base" of influenza DNA. They added a "booster" consisting of a regular seasonal flu vaccine which increased and broadened its immunity. The vaccine's effectiveness improved each year until, theoretically, recipients would be immune to flu.

The "priming" or base vaccine came from a 1999 virus but antibodies were generated that neutralised viruses of different sub-types and from different years, the researchers report in the journal Science.

Mice and ferrets were able to fight off viruses dating from before 1999, including the deadly strain of 1934, and also strains from 2006 and 2007. The vaccine was also effective against H5N1 "bird flu".

Dr Gary Nabel, the study leader from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, said: "We are excited by these results.

"The prime-boost approach opens a new door to vaccinations for influenza that would be similar to vaccination against such diseases as hepatitis, where we vaccinate early in life and then boost immunity through occasional, additional inoculations in adulthood.

"We may be able to begin efficacy trials of a broadly protective flu vaccine in three to five years.” The scientists measured how well the prime-boost vaccine protected mice and ferrets against deadly levels of flu virus.

Three weeks after receiving the boost, 20 mice were exposed to high levels of 1934 flu virus and 80 per cent survived. When mice were given only the “prime” or “boost” elements alone, or a sham vaccine, all died.

Similar results were seen in ferrets, which are good predictors of flu vaccine effectiveness in humans.

Flu viruses are notorious for their ability to mutate and become resistant to vaccines. Antibodies target a lollipop-shaped flu virus surface protein called haemagglutinin (HA). But the structure of the protein’s “head” mutates readily, allowing the virus to go undetected when it changes form. The new vaccine generates “universal” antibodies that aim for the “stick” of the HA lollipop, which varies little from strain to strain.

Professor John Oxford, Britain’s leading flu expert and a virologist at St Bart’s and Royal London hospitals, said: “This a new and interesting approach and they are a very respected group. I would take this very seriously. They seem to have identified a universal or general antibody that attacks many different types of virus.”

“This is something that we have been after for a long time but the next stage is crucial. Many new vaccines fall at the human trial stage.”

Professor Hugh Pennington, Britain’s leading microbiologist, of Aberdeen University, said: “It is an exciting and attractive approach. We really do desperately need something along these lines. It is a nice idea but the proof will be in the pudding and seeing whether it works in humans.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7893553/Vaccine-that-will-protect-against-every-type-of-flu.html
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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11-16-2010, 01:45 PM,
#2
A once-in-a-lifetime flu jab that fights off all strains of the disease is on its way
Quote:A flu jab that is given just once in a lifetime should be available within five years.

Unlike the current vaccine, it would fight off all strains of the disease, from the winter flu that leaves millions feeling miserable each year, to deadly pandemic viruses.

And unlike the existing jab, the U.S.-developed drug would not have to be given each year.

Described as the ‘holy grail’ of flu research, just one or two shots could provide lifelong protection, a conference held by the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, heard yesterday.

Although flu is often thought of as a minor inconvenience, it can be deadly, killing up to 12,000 Britons each year, many of them elderly.

The current flu jab protects only three-quarters of those vaccinated and needs to be reformulated each year to keep on top of changes in the virus.

It targets a lollipop-shaped head of a protein that sticks out from the surface of flu particles. The protein is key to infection but the head constantly mutates, meaning it differs from strain to strain.

The new drug, developed at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, uses DNA to trick the body’s immune system into producing antibodies against the protein’s base instead – the ‘lollipop stick’.

Unlike the head, the ‘stick’ changes little from strain to strain, meaning one vaccine should protect against multiple strains of the virus.

Dr Gary Nabel, the institute’s director of vaccine research, used the DNA from the protein to trick animals’ immune systems into producing antibodies that seek out and destroy the bug.

He then gave a ‘booster shot’ of a harmless flu or cold virus to ratchet up the immune response.

This primer-booster approach killed off a flu virus from 2007 and one from 1934, despite the DNA coming from a strain that circulated in 1999.

Mice and ferrets – creatures seen as good predictors of the human course of flu – both fought off potentially deadly flus with the help of the double jab.

The vaccine was also effective against bird flu. Safety trials have begun on people and its effectiveness could be tested on patients by 2013.

If the vaccine is as safe and powerful as the research team hope, it should be in widespread use by 2015.

Dr Nabel told the Daily Mail that a universal jab would remove the annual race to outwit the virus by formulating a jab that protects against the latest mutations.

He said: ‘Every year we try to predict which virus will circulate the next year.

‘If we predict correctly and make a vaccine that’s a good match, we are OK.

‘But maybe once every three years a new strain crops up or one that is just completely different from what was predicted.

‘And in these cases, the vaccine isn’t terribly effective and we really have no protection.’

A universal vaccine would also provide valuable protection during a flu pandemic.

Despite the recent outbreak of swine flu proving less serious than feared, scientists believe a flu pandemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives in the UK alone.

Dr Nabel said: ‘Just because the worst didn’t happen doesn’t give us any certainty that we won’t have a more severe outbreak in future.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1330050/Once-lifetime-flu-jab-fights-strains-way.html
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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11-17-2010, 07:34 AM,
#3
RE: A once-in-a-lifetime flu jab that fights off all strains of the disease is on its way
Quote:The protein is key to infection but the head constantly mutates, meaning it differs from strain to strain. The new drug, developed at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, uses DNA to trick the body’s immune system into producing antibodies against the protein’s base instead – the ‘lollipop stick’.

What if the stick antibody also flags legitimate proteins? Your body would attack itself, killing you or causing lifelong immune system problems.
[Image: randquote.png]
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11-17-2010, 11:24 AM,
#4
RE: A once-in-a-lifetime flu jab that fights off all strains of the disease is on its way
Quote:Your body would attack itself, killing you or causing lifelong immune system problems.

"Body attacking itself" seems to correlate with pharma research and development allocation

Quote:There are 2,900 drugs currently in research in US, among which 750 are anticancer drugs, 312 drugs are for heart diseases, 150 are diabetes drugs and 109 are AIDS drugs, the rest 91 drugs are for the Alzheimer and senile dementia diseases.
http://www.researchinchina.com/Htmls/Report/2009/5688.html

There are no others, there is only us.
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01-10-2011, 09:02 PM,
#5
Universal flu shot that vaccinates for life a step closer
Quote:Researchers have found several patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu strain have developed antibodies that are protective against a variety of flu strains.

They believe that the unexpected turn of events could lead to the "holy grail" of a vaccine that protects against all strains of the disease.

It would also bring to an end the annual race to develop a vaccine for the latest strain of the disease and could even lead to a one-injection for life.

"The result is something like the holy grail for flu-vaccine research," said study author Patrick Wilson, at the University of Chicago.

"It demonstrates how to make a single vaccine that could potentially provide immunity to all influenza."

The scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and the University of Chicago studied nine patients who were affected by the 2009 strain with differing levels of severity from mild illness that waned after a few days to a severe case that required a two-month hospital stay including ventilator support.

Most were in their 20s or 30s and blood samples were taken.

The team identified white blood cells from the patients that made antibodies against flu virus, and then isolated the antibody genes from individual cells.

They used the genes to produce antibodies in cell culture – a total of 86 varieties – and then tested which flu strains they reacted against.

Five antibodies isolated by the team could bind all the seasonal H1N1 flu strains from the last decade, the devastating "Spanish flu" strain from 1918 and also a pathogenic H5N1 avian flu strain.

Seasonal flu shots contain three inactivated viral strains, each grown in chicken eggs.

Over the last decade, it was standard that one of the three is an H1N1 strain.

However, vaccination with any one H1N1 strain doesn't usually result in protection against all of them – that's why the 2009 strain could make so many people sick.

Some of the antibodies the team identified stick to the "stalk" region of part of the virus – a protein called haemagglutinin.

Because this part of the virus doesn't change as much as other regions, scientists have proposed to make it the basis of a vaccine that could provide broader protection.

Dr Jens Wrammert, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at Emory University, said: "Our data shows that infection with the 2009 pandemic influenza strain could induce broadly protective antibodies that are only rarely seen after seasonal flu infections or flu shots.

"These findings show that these types of antibodies can be induced in humans, if the immune system has the right stimulation, and suggest that a pan-influenza vaccine might be feasible."

The antibodies isolated from a group of patients who were infected with the 2009 H1N1 strain could guide researchers in efforts to design a vaccine that gives people long-lasting protection against a wide spectrum of flu viruses.

The research team now plan to examine the immune responses of people who were vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 strain but did not get ill.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8250592/Universal-flu-shot-that-vaccinates-for-life-a-step-closer.html
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. - Che Guevara

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