You get one sneeze, or a cough or even something as ordinary as phlegm flowing out of your nose, you die. This was the life, a few decades ago where more people might have died of influenza as compared to the number of people today who are dying of cancer.
After World War II, the field of medical sciences improved a lot but the risk still remains and that is why it is necessary to get vaccinations annually. The vaccine, however, may not always prove effective since it needs constant updating. Wouldn’t it be better if there’d be one shot for life? Scientists have just drawn a similar solution. This unconventional inoculation has been developed by a team from the Nebraska Center for Virology (NCV).
The NVC team started from studying the history of the evolution of the H1, H2, H3, and H5 influenza strains in order to identify the ancestral genes shared by all of them. After successfully identifying the said genes, the genes were used to synthesize a new flu vaccine which was tested on mice afterwards. Even after exposure to lethal doses of up to nine influenza viruses, the vaccinated mice survived.
The regular influenza vaccine protects you from three to four strains of influenza while this latest one injects the genetic blueprints, that most influenza strains share, into the body. Hence your immune system might be able to fight all kinds of strains even after they evolve inside your body.
The vaccine hasn’t been practiced on any humans yet but its results are promising and the use of it can make influenza a thing from the past. Check out the video below to see how the vaccine works.