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New discovery being dubbed as a 'super antibody'

A ‘super antibody which fights against all types of influenza A has been discovered by a team of Swiss and British researchers. The scientists ar...

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|Jul 29|magazine7 min read

A ‘super antibody’ which fights against all types of influenza A has been discovered by a team of Swiss and British researchers.

The scientists are now hopeful the finding could lead to the development of an emergency treatment for the virus and revolutionise flu vaccines.

In the current situation, flu vaccine makers have to adapt their jabs every year to make sure they are able to combat the seasonal flu strains.

However, the new development looks like it could act as a universal vaccine which has the ability to fight many types of the flu virus.

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After looking at 100,000 cell samples, the scientists were able to identify an antibody which effectively targeted the haemagglutinin protein which is found on the surface of all influenza A viruses.

Sir John Skehel, a Medical Research Council scientist who worked on the project, said in a media interview: “We've tried every subtype of influenza A and it interacts with them all.

“We eventually hope it can be used as a therapy by injecting the antibody to stop the infection.”

Meanwhile, the director of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Switzerland, Antonio Lanzavecchia, stated: “As the first and only antibody which targets all known subtypes of the influenza A virus, FI6 represents an important new treatment option.”

The findings of the experiments have been published in the Science Express journal.