Navigation Links
H1N1 discovery paves way for universal flu vaccine: UBC research

University of British Columbia researchers have found a potential way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations.

Each year, seasonal influenza causes serious illnesses in three to five million people and 200,000 to 500,000 deaths. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic killed more than 14,000 people worldwide. Meanwhile, public health and bioterrorism concerns are heightened by new mutations of the H5N1 "bird flu" virus, published last week by the journal Nature, that could facilitate infection among mammals and humans.

Led by Prof. John Schrader, Canada Research Chair in Immunology and director of UBC's Biomedical Research Centre, the research team found that the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" vaccine triggers antibodies that protect against many influenza viruses, including the lethal avian H5N1 "bird flu" strain.

Details are published today in the journal Frontiers in Immunology.

"The flu virus has a protein called hemagglutinin, or HA for short. This protein is like a flower with a head and a stem," says Schrader, a professor in Medicine and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "The flu virus binds to human cells via the head of the HA, much like a socket and plug.

"Current flu vaccines target the head of the HA to prevent infections, but because the flu virus mutates very quickly, this part of the HA changes rapidly, hence the need for different vaccines every flu season."

Vaccines contain bits of weak or dead germs that prompt the human immune system to produce antibodies that circulate in the blood to kill those specific germs. However, the research team found that the 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine induced broadly protective antibodies capable of fighting different variants of the flu virus.

"This is because, rather than attacking the variable head of the HA, the antibodies attacked the stem of the HA, neutralizing the flu virus," says Schrader. "The stem plays such an integral role in penetrating the cell that it cannot change between different variants of the flu virus."

The new discovery could pave the way to developing universal flu vaccines.

Schrader says the characteristics of the human immune system make it difficult for influenza vaccines to induce broadly protective antibodies against the HA stem. "The pandemic H1N1 swine flu was different, because humans had not been exposed to a similar virus," he adds.

Schrader has evidence that a vaccine based on a mixture of influenza viruses not circulating in humans but in animals should have the same effect and potentially make influenza pandemics and seasonal influenza a thing of the past.

Contact: Prof. John Schrader
University of British Columbia

Related medicine news :

1. Feelings of immaturity accompany alcohol misuse into adulthood; discovery could improve treatments
2. Discovery could help to develop drugs for organ transplant and cancer patients
3. Washingtons Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards commercialization grants
4. Scientist awarded $1 million grant to develop tools for hepatitis C treatment discovery
5. New discovery of proteins involved in positioning muscular nuclei
6. Cell signaling discovery provides new hope for blood disorders
7. Gene mutation discovery sparks hope for effective endometriosis screening
8. Discovery predicts patient sensitivity to important drug target in deadly brain cancer
9. Discovery of new vaccine approach for treatment of cancer
10. Zebrafish may help speed drug discovery
11. Unexpected discovery opens up new opportunities for targeting cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ActivePDF, a ... PDF automation tool to batch conversions of CAD drawings, plans, and diagrams ... fidelity. , CADConverter eliminates the complexity requirement of specialized applications to view CAD ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... the world’s first commercially-available next-generation sequencing laboratory test for bacterial vaginosis- a ... and Obstetrics in Vancouver, BC, Canada. , In a presentation entitled: ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... biannual Heroes in Recovery Awards at Foundations Recovery Network’s Moments of Change conference ... the one-of-a-kind awards to Noah Levine and Dean Dauphinais who exemplify the ideals ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... According to an article ... data from adults today versus those of a similar group taken in 1988 has shown ... that a person in 2008 with the same diet as someone in 1971 would be ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... Amerec , a leader in ... and skin care equipment, will be displaying custom sauna and steam room solutions at ... high-end resorts and spas as customers, SpaEquip is recognized for their ability to assist ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AST), ... Therapy Catapult to advance development of large scale ... immunotherapy. Under the agreement, the Cell Therapy Catapult ... to support advanced clinical trials and eventual commercialization ... --> The Cell Therapy Catapult is a ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... WASHINGTON , Oct. 12, 2015  Former White House ... Press Secretary for the House Narcotics Committee, Robert Weiner ... "Rewriting Drug Policy." The two emphasize that this is now ... Clinton to Jeb Bush , Carly Fiorina ... Sordello cite the newest federal statistics, which they call "a ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading ... processes to develop and market advanced products and therapies ... Ophthalmic, and the Dental sectors of healthcare, announced today ... 2015, its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2015, ... Senior Secured Credit Facility. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: