Could flu someday be prevented without a vaccine?

Researchers from Ohio State University in Columbus have identified a method of creating a preventive response to the flu that would spring to action before the infection is present without a vaccine.

"The flu vaccine needs to change every year because the virus is constantly mutating," Jacob Yount, assistant professor of microbial infection and immunity at Ohio State University and senior author of the study, said in a statement. "What we're doing is targeting a more fundamental process that is not specific to any particular strain of the virus."

The method capitalizes on a protein — IFITM3 — that is known to be effective against all strains of influenza. Levels of IFITM3 can be raised by suppressing a different protein, called NEDD4. This leads to an accumulation of the virus-fighting IFITM3 in the cells. Although the researchers are still working to determine how and when to best get rid of NEDD4, the method has shown promise in both mouse and human cells.

More articles on infection control:
CDC report outlines new approach for HAI reduction
Legionnaire's bacteria discovered in GlaxoSmithKline plant
FDA releases new guidance for cleaning 'unsafe' scopes 



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