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New Vaccine: Multiple Strains of Flu Virus Targeted with Single Cure

Image: New Vaccine: Multiple Strains of Flu Virus Targeted with Single Cure
A nurse holds a syringe filled with flu vaccine during a drive-thru flu shot clinic at Doctors Medical Center on November 6, 2014 in San Pablo, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016 02:11 PM

A new vaccine has shown to be effective in protecting against multiple strains of the H1N1 influenza in mouse models, researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The discovery could one day lead to the development of a single vaccine that can defeat various strains of the flu without having to be updated each season, the university explained.
 
"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that we have to make predictions about which virus strains will be most prevalent every year and build our vaccines around those predictions," said Ted Ross, director of the university's Center for Vaccines and Immunology.

"What we have developed is a vaccine that protects against multiple different strains of H1N1 virus at once, so we might be able to one day replace the current standard of care with this more broadly cross-protective vaccine," Ross continued.

The details of the research team's findings were published recently in the Journal of Virology, and the research was scheduled to be presented Wednesday at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, D.C.

According to a statement from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention made last year, trying to find the strain of flu that could become dominate in a given season can be a difficult task.

"Flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine is updated each year based on which influenza viruses are making people sick, how those viruses are spreading, and how well the previous season’s vaccine protects against those viruses," said the CDC statement.

"More than 100 national influenza centers in over 100 countries conduct year-round surveillance for influenza. This involves receiving and testing thousands of influenza virus samples from patients with suspected flu illness," the statement continued.

According to the University of Georgia, researchers used a technique called Computationally Optimized Broadly Reactive Antigen, or COBRA, to create nine prototype synthetic compound vaccines constructed using genetic sequences from multiple influenza virus strains.

The vaccines were built to recognize H1N1 viruses isolated within the last 100 years and produce immunity against influenza strains not included in the design. That allows the scientists to produce a vaccine that not only protects against recognized flu strains, but also strains that have yet to be discovered.

Sanofi Pasteur is the vaccines division of the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

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A new vaccine has shown to be effective in protecting against multiple strains of the H1N1 influenza in mouse models, researchers at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur announced in a statement on Tuesday.
new, vaccine, multiple strains
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2016-11-30
Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016 02:11 PM
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