First Flu Vaccine Fighting All Types of Virus Ready for Human Trials
Virus is present everywhere. They readily attack people, grow in them and quickly spread from one to another.
Every year people fall prey to the viruses around the world causing seasonal flu. The vaccines present for them need to be modified each year as the viruses easily undergo mutation and get resistant to the earlier vaccine.
Vaccination is the best defense against the outbreak of many types of fatal flu like bird flu, swine flu. But that requires so many different types of vaccines each working on different parts of the virus.
Oxford University‘s Jenner Institute and Vaccitech have developed a “universal vaccine” that could fight against all the types of seasonal flu causing viruses on the earth.
Earlier it was shown that the T-cells present in the body could fight more than one type of flu virus. Now, the researchers have developed the “universal vaccine” which could significantly stimulate the immune system of the body to boost virus killing T-cells rather than producing antibodies.
Unlike the currently available flu vaccines which target different types of protein found on the surface of the virus, the “universal vaccine” utilizes the proteins found in the core of the virus. The surface proteins of the virus modify according to the changing conditions, and therefore, the vaccines against them need to be redesigned every year, but the proteins found in the core remains stable.
Researchers hope the new vaccine will provide a long-lasting protection and could last for as long as four years as well as it would be more efficient when used along with the regular seasonal flu shot.
The vaccine will be tested in more than 2000 patients for two years in a clinical study by researchers in Oxford. It has already been tested for safety in the previous trials. The immune system of the body gets weaker with age so many times, vaccines do not work in them as efficiently as in the younger people.
Using the new vaccine along with the regular shot could provide them better protection than the regular vaccine shots alone.
First time a new “universal vaccine” has got across the initial stages of trials for seasonal flu viruses and moved to human trials. Currently, it is advancing into mid-stage Phase IIb testing. About 500 National Health Service, England individuals will be recruited this year for the trial in this season. The remaining will be recruited during the next flu season.