A breakthrough in the fight against flu

Scientists now are one step closer to create universal vaccine to protect against new strains of the disease.

Currently available vaccines only counteract the most common strains of flu, just producing enough immune antibodies to prevent infection. Due to the survey, conducted in 2009, the annual scope outbreak of swine flu can be reduced or prevented in the future.

Scientists used a flu outbreak as a unique natural experiment to find out why some people have picked up the infection, while the others remained healthy.

For decades, the key to making the vaccine has not been found by scientists. But they are always a step behind the virus that continues to evolve rapidly. However, the possibility of preventing a pandemic is still there. Creation of a universal flu vaccine and its new strains becomes more real thanks to a British study.

Hundreds of scientists and college students participated in the experiment and passed samples of their blood to look at the results after the next two flu seasons. The volunteers were given a cotton swab on the content of viruses which are regularly updated information about the health of the participants. Not infected participants had greater number of viruses that kill cells of the immune system known as CD8 T cells, the study said. The new vaccine will work, prompting the body to produce these cells to repel the attacks of the virus.

 

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