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Scientists close in on universal flu vaccine

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posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Scientists close in on universal flu vaccine


www.abc.net.au

They have discovered anti-bodies that neutralise multiple strains of the influenza virus, and a so-called "pan-therapy" or broad-spectrum vaccine could be just five years away.

The findings have been published in Nature Magazine.

Dr Robert Liddington from the Burnham Institute in California says researchers gave mice lethal doses of the H5N1 bird flu, then injected them with the antibodies.

"We were surprised and actually delighted to find that these antibodies also neutralised a majority of other influenza viruses including most of the regular seasonal flus," Dr Liddington said.

Each year around 500,000 people around the world die from the flu.

The World Health Organisation is warning that the next widespread flu outbreak is overdue.

The difficulty with developing a flu vaccine is that the virus mutates into different strains, so the vaccine developers have to play catch-up.

In simple terms, regular anti-bodies usually bond to the outer surface of a virus but that surface mutates leading to different strains of the virus.

But the newly discovered anti-bodies bind to a much more stable region of the virus just below the surface.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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I guest we should keep an eye on this one as we may not see the vaccine in 5 years time. There have been many breakthroughs in the past against some viruses and same thing they say they will come up with the vaccine in X years and you never hear it again. Pharmaceutical companies make a lot of profit selling tables and other stuffs against flue and I fear they just might pressure to put this finding to sleep so that they can keep making their profits.

www.abc.net.au
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by rattan1
 


Best news I've heard all day. I sure hope it makes it to the people in 5 years.

[edit on 22-2-2009 by Red Shield]



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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Well, I hate to be a pessimist, but I wonder what the unintended consequences of such a development will be?

Might the flu virus have to mutate at this much more fundamental level to survive and might that have profound consequences for humans? Could such a mutation at a "fundamental level" render many of our built in immunities that have accumulated over generations useless? And allow a relatively mild strain to turn into a raging pandemic?

Although it may sound pretty good off the bat, I think we need to remember that we are forcing the viruses to step up their game with many of our treatments and vaccines, and we never know who is going to come out on top of such an arms race.



[edit on 22-2-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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I agree, they would mutate pretty bad...
Curious, though. One can only hope.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:34 PM
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The vaccine is a lie!

Germs will mutate around it. You will see that. You will see people get progressily sicker as little colds and flus are like the body lifting weights, keepign itself strong for other things.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Hahaha, the vaccine is a lie! I'm sure it exists, but I don't think it would be a good idea. I get what you mean. I highly highly doubt that we could ever eradicate influenza. It mutates too fast and there are too many strains, and it spreads too fast on a global scale.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by asmeone2
 


Hahaha, the vaccine is a lie! I'm sure it exists, but I don't think it would be a good idea. I get what you mean. I highly highly doubt that we could ever eradicate influenza. It mutates too fast and there are too many strains, and it spreads too fast on a global scale.


That was a "The cake is a lie!" reference.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


lol I know that! That's why I laughed!
Mmm.. cake.. I'm gonna go grab a slice.

I was thinking about it, and it really would be impossible to eradicate influenza because it transcends species, so we'd need to vaccinate all the birds and pigs and stuff, too.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:03 PM
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I was very happy hearing about this vaccine and now after reading the few posts I am very concerned. I never thought of mutation. This could be potentially disastrous if the virus mutates into a super virus that could wipe us all out. We should really stop messing around with nature…..



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:26 PM
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The funny thing about mutations is no one ever thinks about them. Like, you hear it in a situation like this and it's like "zomg mutant influenza..."

But... did you know when you go on a course of antibiotics and stop taking it at 8 days instead of 10 because you feel better and the illness is "gone"... you're directly contributing to the evolution and mutation of whatever bug you had? It's because, think about it, the weakest organisms die first. After 8 days, when there are only a few left, the ones that are left are the strongest. And if you don't kill them all off, they can be transmitted back out into the world, and they reproduce, and they're way stronger on average than the bacteria that you got in the first place.

Even though viruses don't die from antibiotics, the same concepts apply. The vaccine is like the antibiotic, kind of, only it's a preventative measure rather than curative.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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I have to say, although this is great for the current strain of flu we have. Variations and mutations are bound to happen once it is discovered, synthesized and used.

Viruses are quite the formidable opponent and odds are it would simply build immuniy said vaccine just like all others have been doing lately. There is something fishy about all this.

Don't you all think it is a little strange that we have sooo many super viruses coming out now that are immune to vaccines and anti-biotics?

I sure do, it could be paranois, but I tend not to trust anything that comes out of a pharmaceutical lab.

Even then all a vaccine is the specific virus, minus it's bad effects. They are in general infecting us with a deadly disease so that our bodies may create the anti-body needed in order to fight it.

Now that may seem all find an dandy at first glance, but what if they created a vaccine for the flu, the lowered our immunity to something else, such as Avian Flue or any number of other viruses that we are commonly afflicted with?

Very skeptical....

~Keeper



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


I blame the superviruses on the antibacterial soaps, Purell, antibacterial plastics, antibacterial wipes, and people who don't finish their doses of antibiotics. That might just be me, though ^_^



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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I actually dont like this. I havent had a flu vaccine or any other type of vaccine since I was 16 and I am in near perfect health!

Odd thing is, when I was a child I remember being sick ALL the time. Once I stopped vaccinations everything was fine. I probably have gotten the flu once every... oh... 3 years? Maybe an ear infection from swimming too much.

That's it. Perfectly fine.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:49 PM
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Just found an interesting article (Arizona Scientist: We Could All Be Martians ) on which I started a new thread. The following part of the article which is very interesting and I think relevant to the discussion:


Scientists have recent evidence of Earth microbes surviving a few years in space. When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, they retrieved a camera from Surveyor 3, an unmanned lander that had touched down nearly three years prior. Earthly microbes – including those associated with the common cold — were still living inside the camera box.


What do you think about that? If they can survive in Space, I don’t think any of our vaccine can get rid of them. I am absolutely amazed as to their survival capacity.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by Tentickles
 


Some people are like that. I'm not. If I don't get the vaccine, I get the flu... if I do get the vaccine, I'm fine.
So it really depends. I don't think there's enough congruency to make an official statement about the positive or negative effects of vaccines.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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I worry about the virus mutating.

Let's face it, except to the elderly and certain risk groups, the flu is an inconvenience, nothing more. If everyone suddenly starts getting vaccinated against it then it will mutate to get around the new defence and could become something much worse and much more dangerous.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 09:51 PM
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im not pumping that # into my arm.

screw that noise!



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by AngelInterceptor
 



If everyone suddenly starts getting vaccinated against it then it will mutate to get around the new defence and could become something much worse and much more dangerous.

I agree. This vaccine will get neutralized once the virus mutates and gets around it. We'll never ever live a sick-free life, we just have to learn to live with them.



posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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Great discussion everyone! Thank you.

Please note though - the "universal" CR6261 antibody reported on here is intended to be used as an adjunct to anti-virals - and so far, it works for just a few days. ...It's potential for vaccine development is highly questionable.

Universal Vaccine Media Myths



...media reports on the antibody treatment describe in today's Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, "Structural and functional bases for broad-spectrum neutralization of avian and human influenza A viruses" paper unrealistically raise expectations and misrepresent the data presented in the paper. These media myths are repeated and create many misconceptions, which can be significant downside in the management of seasonal and pandemic influenza. They create an illusion of a near term universal vaccine that can lead to a single injection that will give long term protection against a wide range of influenza's, including various seasonal flu serotypes and pandemic influenza.

...the paper does not describe a universal vaccine. It describes a panel of monoclonal antibodies that can provide protection from an influenza challenge in mice treated before or after infection. The data on treatment prior to infection is for one day, while the longest time period reported post infection was 3 days.

...The antibodies described in the paper are not vaccines. A vaccine would be the "Achilles heel" that would be injected into hosts to achieve long term immunity against a variety of challenges.

...However, the media myths suggest that a single injection can provide long term (lifetime?) protection, which is not supported by the data in the paper, or data for other therapeutic or prophylactic monoclonal antibodies. Similarly, the reduced activity against existing isolates suggests that resistance will develop.




NOTE: A different group of scientists modified a smallpox vaccine to create a vaccine for H5N1 bird flu - I will post on it soon.



Originally posted by ravenshadow13

I blame the superviruses on the antibacterial soaps, Purell, antibacterial plastics, antibacterial wipes, and people who don't finish their doses of antibiotics. That might just be me, though ^_^



Antibiotics treat bacteria, not viruses.

Anti-virals like Tamiflu trate viruses - and yes, anti-virals are linked to viruses developing resistance.


.



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