Japanese R&D team targets next gen flu jabs

Investigators in Japan have designed a new vaccine that has been effective in animal tests against multiple strains of influenza, including varieties of the dread bird flu. Using a peptide derived from influenza virus that carries an antigen on the surface that triggers an immune response, the researchers noted that the vaccine worked on the inside of cells, rather than the surface. That's a dramatic departure from the vaccines used today, which target the surface of cells. Those surfaces change as the virus mutates, making the vaccines ineffective to the emerging strains of influenza.

The researchers at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases say that their breakthrough could provide a new generation of flu vaccines able to work across a broad spectrum of strains. They're now working on a vaccine that can be tested in humans.

- read the report from News-Medical

ALSO: Japanese investigators say they're seeing good results from a new bird flu vaccine that is sprayed up the nose rather than injected, a feature that could make it far easier to distribute in developing countries. Story

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