Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Human vaccine against bird flu a reality with new discovery

04.03.2009
A vaccine to protect humans from a bird flu pandemic is within reach after a new discovery by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia

The discovery, published today in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals how boosting T cell immunity could better protect humans from a bird flu pandemic.

The continued spread of the highly virulent "bird flu" virus has experts worried that we are facing a new potential influenza pandemic which could transfer between humans. Furthermore, given the bird flu is new, there is no pre-existing immunity in the population and current vaccine formulations would be useless.

"The 'Killer T cell' is the hit-man of the immune system. It is able to locate and destroy virus-infected cells in our body helping rid us of infection," said A/Prof Stephen Turner, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne who is a lead author on the paper.

"Unfortunately, current influenza vaccines are poor at inducing killer T cell immunity. Therefore, we wanted to see if we could improve the current vaccine formulation to induce killer T cells after vaccination," he said.

"We added a compound, known to increase immunity, to the flu vaccine in an animal model. The addition of this compound promoted significant generation of potent killer T cell immunity and provided protection from infection.

"The significance of these findings is that rather than having to design a new vaccine altogether, we can improve current flu vaccines by adding this potent immune modulator.

"With appropriate clinical testing, we could see improvements to current vaccines within the next five years."

Dr Turner said the key to vaccine effectiveness was ensuring a match between the vaccine and the current circulating flu strain. However, the spike proteins varied over the course of a flu season rendering the current vaccine ineffective. As such, the vaccine needs to be updated every year to match the likely strain for that winter.

"It is a different situation for influenza pandemics. Pandemics arise due to the introduction of a new influenza virus into human circulation. As such, there is little or no pre-existing immunity to the bird flu virus enabling it to spread rapidly."

"'Killer' T cells recognise components that are conserved between different influenza viruses. Therefore, a vaccine strategy that induced killer T cells pre-emptively would provide protection from a potential pandemic."

Rebecca Scott | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unimelb.edu.au

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Asian tiger mosquito on the move

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>