(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York have presented the results of preliminary clinical trials of the world’s first universal vaccine against a wide range of influenza virus strains and subtypes. The findings of the scientists are published in the journal Nature Medicine.
The new vaccine is based on chimeric hemagglutinin (HA) and can eliminate the need for an annual revaccination. Conventional influenza vaccines induce neutralizing antibodies that target a specific domain of HA, a protein on the viral envelope that helps the pathogen interact with and enter the cell’s receptors. However, this domain can mutate, which leads to the emergence of new viral strains that are immune to all existing vaccines.
The chimeric vaccine targets another HA site that is less susceptible to mutations, thus neutralizing different viral strains.
Phase 1 clinical trials evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine in 65 volunteers in the United States. It turned out that she was able to induce a strong immune response, which lasted for at least 18 months.
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