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Flu jab – convenient, safe and long-term

09.12.2005


Strictly speaking, the ‘choked’, i.e., inactivated three viruses (A1, A2, B) in the new vaccine will be the same as before. They are included in the vaccine composition on the recommendation of the World Health Organisation. But the additional substances, however, proposed by the researchers, are what make it possible to make this vaccine in tablet form. What is more, believe the authors, this vaccine will be more efficient than all known equivalents. Not because an injection is replaced with a tablet, but because the authors propose to include a so-called adjuvant into the vaccine composition; put simply – an enhancer for the effect of the vaccine. The scientists are already confident of its effectiveness: A similar, intranasal vaccine which they developed previously (what specialists call nasal drops) with the same adjuvant is already at clinical trial stage. The first volunteers will be testing it in the first clinical trials this autumn.



So, the most important component of this vaccine is Korauban, an original immunostimulant, or a substance that intensifies immunity. Its correct name is a stimulant of immunogenesis, a gamma-interferon inductor. This is a close relative of regular cellulose; the same polysaccharide, only of a slightly different structure. It is produced by ‘specially trained’ microorganisms and it serves to enhance the action of the vaccine.

Korauban, if we are to greatly simplify the matter, calls special cells, which are to eliminate alien elements, to where the decontaminated virus has struck, and it presents the enemy to them. As a result the organism strenuously produces protection – special proteins (antibodies) and cells, both directed to the form of the enemy. What is of especial importance is that, as a result, humans produce so-called local cell immunity, of a long-term and wide-ranging action; not only against the used vaccine and existing epidemic viruses, but also against the pathogens of future epidemics. And in the region of the nose and throat. It is with damage to the latter, incidentally, that the illness begins. In the first days flu usually passes without a cold.


‘The combination of Korauban and vaccine viruses in one preparation leads to a synergy of their action,’ states Project manager Oleg Kuznetsov. ‘This is displayed in an increase in early synthesis of common interferon, a factor of the synthesis of intensified non-specific resistance of the organism to bacterial and viral infections. Obviously the preparation could be applied for emergency protection not only from flu but also from other acute respiratory viral infections. Such a protection would suffice for a week; further, a specific protection against flu will begin to act’.

Finally, there is another substance in the composition of the tablet, which ensures the tablet-vaccine remains stable for a 12-month period. The scientists will obtain the first clinical test results no earlier than next Spring. For now it will be in the form of drops in aerosol form and not tablets. However, the authors are confident of its success. The vaccine demonstrated high efficiency on laboratory animals and proved to be completely non-toxic. The researchers believe that this ‘jab’ will need to be taken once every few years. The sooner the better.

Andrew Vakhliaev | alfa
Further information:
http://tech-db.istc.ru/istc/sc.nsf/html/hi-tech.htm

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