Flu research may lead to universal vaccine

Conclusion This research has identified that CD8+ T-cells are linked with protection against different strains of influenza. They are also linked with reduced severity of flu. The authors note that current vaccines that use inactivated forms of the flu virus protect against specific strains, and do not induce a strong maintained T-cell response. They suggest that, in light of their findings, this may be the reason why they produce limited protection across different subtypes of influenza virus. They say that further testing is needed to see if the live vaccines being used are better at producing cross-subtype protection, and if they do this via CD8+ T-cells. The study does have some limitations, such as its relatively small size, and the fact that results may not apply to less healthy or older adults, who are most at risk from flu infection. However, these findings provide an important starting point for further investigation of these populations. Developing a universal flu vaccine has been a long-term goal of the flu vaccine industry, but it has been difficult to achieve because not enough has been understood about cross-strain immunity. The current findings suggest that vaccines that are capable of inducing a lasting CD8+ T-cell response could offer wider protection. Overall, this study provides useful insight into how a universal flu vaccine might work, and how to measure whether it might work. Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Tw...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medication Medical practice Source Type: news

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