Study shows possibility of universal flu vaccine
Influenza is an infectious disease found in birds and mammal caused by RNA viruses. Because there are many strains of the RNA virus, there are many types of influenza. Vaccines will typically inoculate for three types, leaving the door open for other strains to infect the body, NHS Choices reports.
Influenza is typically transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes or by direct contact with infected material, like nasal secretions. Symptoms of influenza range from chills, fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains headache and coughing to pneumonia.
The research in this study was conducted in a laboratory and used an animal to investigate new approached to generate flu vaccines.
Researchers fused together two proteins, ferritin and haemagglutinin. The hypothesis was that because when these two proteins were fused together they looked close to numerous strains of influenza, when injected into the body, could stimulate an immune response against influenza strains, according to NHS Choices.
The research showed that the body did react to these fused proteins and created antibodies to deal with them. The researchers believe it is a promising first step towards developing a universal flu vaccine, NHS Choices reports.