Creating a Universal Flu Vaccine

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,540
    New research has identified certain T cells for their ability to stave off the flu and as a potential blueprint for a universal flu vaccine that would even protect again new strains.

    Scientists at the Imperial College London have some promising news in the wake of the impending flu season. They are getting close to developing a universal flu vaccine.  By studying blood samples taken during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, they found that those who avoided serious illness had more CD8 T cells in their blood at the start of the pandemic.  Since T cells target the core of the virus, which doesn’t change even with new mutations, they are more effective at staving off the flu than antibodies.  The team says this “provides a blueprint for developing a universal flu vaccine” that would protect us from new strains we haven’t yet encountered.