May 14, 2009

New flu virus vaccine technology proposed

A team of U.S. medical scientists says a better way to make flu vaccines, possibly leading to more powerful protection, may have been discovered.

A team of Princeton University scientists said although their work is theoretical, the findings point to the critical importance of what they say has been a poorly appreciated aspect of the interaction between a virus and antibodies that fight infection.

We have proposed that antibody interference plays a major role in determining the effectiveness of the antibody response to a viral infection, Professor Ned Wingreen said. And we believe that in order to get a more powerful vaccine, people are going to want one that minimizes this interference.

The research is described in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.