Antibody that acts against 30 strains of influenza discovered

American scientists searching for a universal influenza treatment recently discovered an antibody that acts against 30 of the 36 known strains of the illness.

The new antibody, called CH64, works by adhering to the surface part of the flu virus known as hemagglutinin, which mutates every season, according to

CH64 was found in the cells of a human subject who voluntarily received the influenza vaccine in 2007.

Researchers from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences hope that the discovery will lead the way toward the development of a new and effective vaccine.

“What this tells us is that the human immune system can fine-tune its response to the flu and actually produce, albeit at a low frequency, antibodies that neutralize a whole series of strains,” the study’s lead author Stephen Harrison said, reports. “Our goal is to understand how the immune system selects for antibodies and use that information to get better at making a vaccine that will take you in a direction that favors breadth over specificity.”

The discovery of CH64 was made recently after a European discovery of the first human antibody that is capable of neutralizing all influenza A viruses. F16, as the antibody is called, was tested on all 16 types of influenza A and proved effective in combating the difficult hemagglutinin.