Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prediction of seasonal flu strains improves chances of universal vaccine

Date:
March 12, 2013
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Researchers have determined a way to predict and protect against new strains of the flu virus, in the hope of improving immunity against the disease.

Researchers have determined a way to predict and protect against new strains of the flu virus, in the hope of improving immunity against the disease.

Influenza is a rapidly spreading acute respiratory disease. Worldwide, annual seasonal epidemics of the flu result in 3-5 million cases of severe illness, and up to 500 000 deaths. A newly emerged virus can spread across 74 countries in 2 months.

The study led by the University of Melbourne with Monash University and international colleagues has found how to predict and potentially stop the mutating cells of the influenza virus, which escape our bodies' white blood cells (T cell) immunity.

Senior author, Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne said the finding may lead to a new universal influenza vaccine to better protect against both seasonal and pandemic outbreaks.

This research, published in PNAS today, will also help researchers understand T cell immunity against other viral infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C and tumours.

"The introduction of a new influenza strain into human circulation leads to a rapid global spread of the virus due to minimal antibody immunity," Assoc Prof Kedzierska said.

"White blood cells called T cells are highly efficient in fighting influenza virus infection. Thus, established T cell immunity towards particular viral regions can provide 'universal' immunity against distinct seasonal and pandemic influenza strains.

"However, influenza viruses can mutate their genes to escape efficient T cells. This constitutes a major problem for a design of a universal vaccine.

In the current paper, researchers have unraveled how influenza viruses evade T cell immunity by introducing specific mutations within the viral proteins.

Professor Peter Doherty, a lead author of the study from the University of Melbourne said predicting and designing vaccines to protect against such mutants can promote T cell immunity.

"The studies suggested that an influenza vaccine that targets T cells and recognizes distinct virus strains could provide universal immunity against any future influenza strain," he said.

The work was done in collaboration with Professor Stephen Turner from Melbourne University and Professor Jamie Rossjohn of Monash University and funded by the NHMRC.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Prediction of seasonal flu strains improves chances of universal vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121849.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2013, March 12). Prediction of seasonal flu strains improves chances of universal vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121849.htm
University of Melbourne. "Prediction of seasonal flu strains improves chances of universal vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130312121849.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins