Monday, July 20, 2009

New Kind of Anti-Virus Vaccine

"New Flu Treatment Outsmarts Mutations" (July 20, 2009)

"Before swine flu swept through the U.S., the virus had bounced around South America undetected for years. The H1N1 strain caught scientists by surprise, and without a vaccine. But a few weeks before the first North American case popped up, researchers successfully tested a therapy that could knock out almost any flu, and possibly any virus.

"Conventional vaccines packed with inert versions of a flu strain give your immune system the chance to develop antibodies. These identify that strain's particular version of hemagglutinin, a lollipop-shaped protein on its surface, so your body knows what to kill if infected...."

This short article gives a pretty good overview of what looks like a promising anti-viral vaccine. Essentially, instead of going after the 'head' of the lollipop-shaped proteins, which change from generation to generation, this vaccine gets the immune system to target the lollipop's stick - which doesn't change so much.

Early tests seem to have been quite successful.

List of posts relating to Swine flu 2009; and list of background resources:

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