Scientists in England have made a significant breakthrough that they think could lead to a universal flu vaccine in perhaps, five years. The key, they said, was to approach the inside of the virus as opposed to the exterior. The influenza virus that causes the flu each year has the ability to change the proteins that make up the exterior of the organism. This is why the vaccines used need to be changed each year. However, in the interior of the virus remains pretty similar year to year.
Thanks to the work being done by a team at Imperial College London, researchers now have what they’re calling a blueprint that will allow them to develop a vaccine that should work to improve t-cell production in a patient so they are better able to fight off the virus, or suffer fewer symptoms. This could be a major plus as influenza kills an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 people each year and if a true pandemic came along it could be even worse.
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