One-time, universal flu vaccine may be on horizon, Australian researchers say

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(Mike Colagrossi/ Big Think) —A new treatment shows promise in becoming a one-time flu vaccine. In a recent study conducted by Professor Katherine Kedzierska at the University of Melbourne, researchers discovered a set of immune cells that have the ability to fight off all forms of the flu virus.

These “killer cells,” can target Influenza A,B, and C strains.

In the study, which was published in Nature, researchers identified parts of the virus that haven’t changed within the past century. This is a novel and exciting approach for creating a one and done vaccine. The team started out by analyzing parts of the flu virus that were all common in each influenza strain. The goal was to find out which section would be the best target for a universal vaccine.

“It was really like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Professor Kedzierska. “We started with 67,000 viral sequences and narrowed it down to three sequences that the killer T-cells can recognize.” (…)

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