Researchers have created a prototype oral flu vaccine, which unlike standard inoculations does not need to be stored in a fridge or freezer.
The influenza vaccine made in cell culture may have worked about 20 percent better this flu season than the standard vaccines made in eggs.
Scientists have been searching for over a decade for ways to make more effective flu vaccines, always with the elusive goal of producing a universal version.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will focus resources on improving the understanding of influenza transmission; characterizing how protective influenza immunity occurs and how to tailor vaccination responses; and supporting the rational design of universal influenza vaccines.
Vaccinations with the resulting protein nanoparticles in mice induces robust long-lasting immunity.
The DNA vaccine instructs the individual's own skin cells to produce antigens and induce antibodies and T cell responses to fight influenza infection.
Researchers believe the nanovaccine will activate both kinds of immune cells (T cells and B cells) and provide protection in the upper and lower airways.
In the future, flu vaccines could provide protection for decades.
Researchers are trying to create a revolutionary flu vaccine before the next epidemic.
Researchers believe it may be possible to provide protection against most seasonal strains, and maybe pandemic flu, by adding a special ingredient to current vaccines.