icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Extraordinary breakthrough’: Scientists make ‘Holy Grail’ universal flu vaccine discovery

‘Extraordinary breakthrough’: Scientists make ‘Holy Grail’ universal flu vaccine discovery
Australian scientists have discovered immune cells that can fight all known flu viruses and mutations in what has already been branded an “extraordinary breakthrough” which could lead to the creation of a universal vaccine.

Scientists at the Doherty Institute and Monash University studied 67,000 viral sequences and narrowed them down to three sequences which are common across all strains of the influenza virus, which haven’t mutated for the past century.

They then identified so-called “killer T cells” found in over half the world’s population, which act like the body’s own private security, identifying abnormalities and infections and killing them.

Harvesting and replicating these cells could lead to the production of an all-in-one flu shot which would only be administered once a decade or possibly once in a lifetime.

Also on rt.com Anti-vax movement among TOP THREATS to global health, with HIV & Ebola, WHO says

The team has patented the discovery with a view to developing a universal flu vaccine “to reduce the impact of a pandemic and seasonal influenza around the world.”

The influenza virus is particularly dangerous for the elderly, children and those with compromised immune systems. Influenza epidemics kill between 250,000 and 500,000 people worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organisation.

Also on rt.com Sneeze on a plane: Where to sit to avoid catching pandemic influenza

There’s just one slight hitch with medicine’s new ‘holy grail.’ It would only work for roughly half the world’s population based on current levels of "killer T cells." The team are already working to overcome this problem and make the future vaccine truly universal.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts