Scientists at the University of Georgia and Sanofi Pasteur, which is the vaccines division of Sanofi, recently developed a new vaccine to protect people from H1N1 influenza.
The study, which involved mice, demonstrated that the vaccine can protect them from several different H1N1 strains, including pandemic and seasonal strains.
In 2009, the H1N1 influenza caused a global pandemic; it was first called swine flu because it is similar to a virus in pigs. Now there is a seasonal form of H1N1 that circulates each year.
Because there are so many different strains, it can be a challenge to develop vaccines that protect people from the H1N1 influenza.
"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that we have to make predictions about which virus strains will be most prevalent every year and build our vaccines around those predictions," Ted Ross, director of UGA's Center for Vaccines and Immunology, said. "What we have developed is a vaccine that protects against multiple different strains of H1N1 virus at once, so we might be able to one day replace the current standard of care with this more broadly cross-protective vaccine."
The scientists have made their findings available in the Journal of Virology.