Apr 022012
 
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Modern medicine has discovered a plethora of methods for antiviral therapy, but the most effective and safe way of protecting yourself against influenza is still vaccination. Unfortunately the influenza virus persistently mutates and thus every season a new antibody for the vaccine to treat this year’s influenza mutant has to be designed.

But could there be one antibody that tackles all influenza viruses alike?

The advantages of such an antibody are obvious: One vaccination against the flu would be much more durable.

Recently, scientists from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona, Switzerland have taken a big stride towards this goal: An antibody that recognized all viruses of the A type (which includes most of the types of viruses harmful for humans, e.g., the infamous H1N1 or “swine flu” virus) could be identified.

Read more:
Science, Vol. 333 no. 6044 pp. 850-856 DOI: 10.1126/science.1205669
PNAS, Vol. 107, no. 44, 18979–18984

Leonie Mueck

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