Japanese team announces flu vaccine breakthrough

A group of Japanese researchers are reporting a breakthrough in developing a universal flu vaccine. While current vaccines have to be reengineered every year to match the changing proteins on the surface of the virus, the Japanese team designed a vaccine that targets the proteins inside the virus. Those proteins are much more stable.

The scientists--picked from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Hokkaido University, Saitama Medical University and chemical maker NOF Corp.--attached an artificial replica of the protein and attached it to a lipid membrane, spurring the immune system to attack the virus with that protein. And they tested the vaccine on three common flu strains by first inoculating mice and then injected them with the viruses.

This isn't the only such project underway. A team of researchers at Oxford University are reportedly at work on a similar virus.

- read the story from Medical News Today