Synthetic protein found to boost immune system against flu

EP67, a synthetic protein, has been found to boost the immune system and fight off influenza infection.

Researchers from San Diego State University's Donald P. Shiley BioScience Center reported that the protein is capable of activating the human immune system within two hours of administration, according to MedicalNewsToday.

Team leaders Dr. Joy Phillips and Dr. Sam Sanderson said that EP67 has been used as a vaccine adjuvant for years, but they wondered what effect it might have on its own.

"The flu virus is very sneaky and actively keeps the immune system from detecting it for a few days until you are getting symptoms," Phillips said, MedicalNewsToday reports. "Our research showed that by introducing EP67 into the body within 24 hours of exposure to the flu virus caused the immune system to react almost immediately to the threat, well before your body normally would."

EP67 is considered effective against influenza because it enhances the immune system instead of targeting the virus. Every year, new vaccines are developed to protect against the predominant influenza strains.

"When you find out you've been exposed to the flu, the only treatments available now target the virus directly but they are not reliable and often the virus develops a resistance against them," Phillips said, according to MedicalNewsToday. "EP67 could potentially be a therapeutic that someone would take when they know they've been exposed that would help the body fight off the virus before you get sick."