What would you think of a vaccine that not only works instantly against the flu, but also transforms other harmful infections into a vaccine against that form of influenza?
This “protecting virus” is being investigated to do just that!
Current vaccination methods depend on stimulating the body’s immune system, so that white blood cells produce antibodies that attach to the surface of the virus and start the process of killing it. This works very well for many diseases, such as smallpox, polio and measles, but is less effective with influenza, as the coat of the flu virus is continually changing. Vaccination against one strain of flu, for instance H3N2, is totally ineffective against another, such as H5N1. This is especially a problem when a new pandemic strain emerges, as all existing vaccines are likely to be totally ineffective.
Professor Dimmock has spent more than two decades investigating an entirely new method, that uses a ‘protecting virus’. This vaccine has now been shown to provide instant protection against all flu symptoms and slow the development of an influenza infection to such an extent that it actually becomes a vaccine against that form of influenza. Instead of producing antibodies that attach to the surface of the virus, it works deeper and alters one of the virus’s genes. It can also offer protection if given up to 24 hours after exposure of the infection. WOW!
Research led by Professor Nigel Dimmock at the University of Warwick is developing an entirely new method of protecting against flu. This has been shown to protect animals against various strains of flu, and could offer protection against the full range of influenza A infections, including H5N1 and any new pandemic or epidemic strains infecting humans. [click link for full article]…