Universal flu vaccine to provide complete protection
A US research team presents a new influenza vaccine intended to provide more comprehensive protection against influenza viruses. According to a recent study, the universal vaccine has the potential to significantly improve immune protection against influenza.
Researchers at Georgia State University report in the journal “Biomaterials” a new influenza vaccine, which is intended to trigger a broad immune response against influenza viruses of different lineages and thus provide long-lasting immune protection against influenza.
Influenza B is responsible for a quarter of all clinical cases of infection
According to the research team, influenza B viruses were responsible for about a quarter of all infectious diseases that needed to be treated in a hospital in the decades before the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus emerged.
Currently available influenza vaccines must be adjusted annually to the predominant strains of the virus and therefore have variable efficacy. A vaccine equally effective against all influenza viruses would therefore be of great importance for public health.
Flu vaccines target changing parts of the virus
As the Georgia State University task force explains, previous flu vaccines targeted an often-evolving part of the flu virus called the HA head. For this reason, the seasonal influenza vaccine must be constantly reformulated.
To overcome this limitation, the team has now developed a vaccine that uses the conserved part of the virus to create substantial and broad cross-protection against different strains of influenza.
Potential for a universal flu vaccine
“In this study, we generated structure-stabilized HA stem antigens from influenza B and fabricated protein bilayer nanoparticles as universal influenza B vaccine candidates,” explains the study’s lead author, Dr. Dr. Baozhong Wang how the vaccine works.
“We found that layered protein nanoparticles with constant structure-stabilized antigens have the potential for a universal influenza vaccine with enhanced protection and immune reach,” confirms the scientist.
The nanoparticle vaccine has already been successfully tested in human cell cultures and mice. In both cases, the vaccination was found to be safe, biocompatible, biodegradable and highly immunogenic.
Influenza A and B nanoparticle vaccine planned
“Our next goal is to combine the influenza A nanoparticles from our previous study with the influenza B nanoparticles produced and tested here to produce a multivalent universal vaccine against influenza A and influenza B.” Wang outlines the next steps. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
Yufeng Song, Wand Zhu, Ye Wang, et al. : Coated protein nanoparticles containing the influenza B HA stem induced sustained cross-protection against viruses spanning both viral lineages; in: Biomaterials (2022), sciencedirect.comGeorgia State University: Universal influenza B vaccine induces broad and long-lasting protection, say biomedical scientists (published: 08.07.2022), eurekalert.org
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.