Universal Influenza Vaccine Identified

Published on August 29, 2018
Scientists of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), U.S.A, have found a potential universal Influenza vaccine which could protect people against most strains 
Universal Influenza Vaccine Identified

of the virus.

About the Vaccine:

  • It is a strong antibody response to a structure on the surface of flu viruses called the Hemagglutinin (HA) stalk. 
  • It has the potential to be developed into a universal flu vaccine. 
  • Unlike the current seasonal flu vaccines, it could be given a few times over a lifetime to provide protection potentially similar to a tetanus vaccine.

Interesting to know:

  • Flu viruses are classified by two proteins on the outer surface of the virus: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). 
  • There are 18 different H subtypes and 11 different N subtypes, and viruses can be further broken down into different strains within those subtypes. 
  • The H protein (also called HA) enables the flu virus to enter a human cell. 
  • It is made up of a head and a stem. 
  • Seasonal flu vaccines fight infection by inducing antibodies that target the HA head. 
  • This region varies season to season, which is why flu vaccines must be updated each year. 
  • However, scientists discovered the stem typically remains unchanged, making it an ideal target for antibodies induced by a universal flu vaccine.

Question:

Scientists of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), U.S.A, have found a potential universal vaccine for which disease?
a. Ebola
b. Influenza
c. Swine Flu
d. None of the above

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