|Three-year-old Ella watches as her mom receives a flu shot at the East York civic Centre in Toronto. (Greg Henkenhaf/QMI Agency) |
A team of British scientists says it has made a 'blueprint' for a universal flu vaccine.
Researchers at Imperial College London asked volunteers to donate blood samples just as the swine flu pandemic was getting underway and to report any symptoms they experienced over the next two flu seasons.
They say they found that those who did not get severely ill had more CD8 T cells, a type of virus-killing immune cell, in their blood at the start of the pandemic.
The group believes a vaccine that stimulates the body to produce more of these cells could be effective at preventing flu viruses, including new strains that cross into humans from birds and pigs, from causing serious disease.
"New strains of flu are continuously emerging, some of which are deadly, and so the Holy Grail is to create a universal vaccine that would be effective against all strains of flu."
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