From the “us” against “phlegm” department:
There’s a DailyMail article about the possibility of a revolutionary flu vaccine that could work against all strains of the Influenza A disease. This ‘holy grail’ of vaccines would work on everything from the annual ‘winter flu’ to the ‘bird flu’. The best part is that just a few vaccinations may provide complete immunity, unlike the annual boosters are current defenses require.
From the article:
“The new jabs would be grown in huge vats of bacterial ‘soup’, with just two pints of liquid providing 10,000 doses of vaccine. Current flu vaccines focus on two proteins on the surface of the virus. However, these constantly mutate in a bid to fool the immune system, making it impossible for vaccine manufacturers to keep up with the creation of each new strain. The universal vaccines focus on a different protein called M2, which has barely changed during the last 100 years.”
The brainchild of scientists at Cambridge biotech firm Acambis, working with Belgian researchers, the vaccine will be tested on humans for the first time in the next few months.
A similar universal flu vaccine, being developed by Swiss vaccine firm Cytos Biotechnology, could also be tested on people in 2007 – and the vaccines on the market in around five years.