CBS Local — As Americans deal with a devastating flu season that has already claimed hundreds of lives, researchers at Georgia State University claim they’ve developed a way to produce a “universal flu vaccine” that could protect patients for several years with just one shot.

Dr. Lei Deng and Dr. Baozhong Wang say that a new approach of using double-layered protein nanoparticles to target the influenza virus produced a longer lasting immunity to the flu in mice.

“We’re trying to develop a new vaccine approach that eliminates the need for vaccination every year,” Dr. Wang, an associate professor at Georgia State said in a press release. “You wouldn’t need to change the vaccine type every year because it’s universal and can protect against any influenza virus.”

The researchers say the yearly flu shot targets protein “heads” that attack the body and make people feel sick. The problem with those shots is that scientists make the annual injection so hyper-focused on killing one particular strain of the flu that the vaccines become fairly useless once these protein heads mutate.

“This vaccine is composed of very conserved domains. That’s the reason why the induced immunity can offer universal protection,” Dr. Deng explains.

Georgia State is now looking to move their tests of the nanoparticle vaccine on to ferrets, who have a similar respiratory system to humans. The CDC says the current flu vaccine in the U.S. has a success rate of around 40 percent. A similar injection in Australia reportedly prevented the flu in just 10 percent of patients during their flu season.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Tampa

Best Party Beaches Around Tampa BayIt's illegal to drink alcohol on most of Tampa Bay's beaches - unless you know about these next six locations.
CBS Tampa’s Social Media LinksFollow us!
How To Get Through Airport Security As Quickly As PossibleWith more people flying than ever before, it’s not surprising to see reports of long lines of people waiting in airport security lines...

Listen Live