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New Study by TSRI and Janssen Makes Major Advance Toward More Effective, Long-Lasting Flu Vaccine

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Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have found a way to induce antibodies to fight a wide range of influenza subtypes—work that could one day eliminate the need for repeated seasonal flu shots.

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Animal Trial to Test Promising Vaccine for H1N1

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A new H1N1 vaccine is entering a definitive round of testing this month. Researchers hope to establish its ability to ward off the virus. If tests yield results as expected, hog farmers could begin using the new vaccine as early as the end of the year.

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Could Flu Someday Be Prevented Without a Vaccine?

Researchers have discovered a way to trigger a preventive response to a flu infection without any help from the usual players – the virus itself or interferon, a powerful infection fighter. The finding suggests that manipulating a natural process could someday be an alternative way to not just reduce flu severity, but prevent infection.

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Developing a Better Flu Vaccine

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have developed a method that could make a nasal spray flu vaccine effective for those under two and over 49 – two groups for which the vaccine is not approved.

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Internet Programme to Encourage Handwashing Reduces Spread of Cold and Flu Viruses

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A web-based programme to encourage more frequent handwashing reduces the risk of catching and passing on respiratory tract infections to other household members, a randomised trial of more than 16,000 UK households published in The Lancet has found.

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Viruses Thrive in Big Families, in Sickness and in Health

A study led by the University of Utah School of Medicine finds that every child puts a household at increased risk for viral infections. Childless households had infections during 3-4 weeks of the year, while families with six children were infected for 45 weeks. But only half who tested positive reported feeling ill. Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the results can help families and health care providers know when illness should be cause for concern.

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Adjuvants Improve Immune Response to H7N9 Flu Vaccine

In a phase 2 trial that included nearly 1,000 adults, the AS03 and MF59 adjuvants (a component that improves immune response of inactivated influenza vaccines) increased the immune responses to two doses of an inactivated H7N9 influenza vaccine, with AS03-adjuvanted formulations inducing the highest amount of antibody response, according to a study in the July 21 issue of JAMA.

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Discovery Points to a New Path Toward a Universal Flu Vaccine

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The conventional flu vaccine protects only against a few specific strains of flu. However, experiments by Rockefeller University researchers and their colleagues show that by including modified antibodies within the vaccine it may be possible to elicit broad protection against many strains simultaneously.

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Scientists Identify “Decoy” Molecule That Could Help Sharply Reduce Risk of Flu Death

The flu virus can be lethal. But what is often just as dangerous is the body’s own reaction to the invader. Now, a University of Maryland School of Medicine researcher has identified a “decoy” molecule that can rein in this runaway inflammatory response.

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Wistar Scientists Pinpoint Mutations Responsible for Ineffectiveness of 2014-2015 Flu Vaccine

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Viruses like influenza have the ability to mutate over time, and given that the flu vaccines administered during the 2014-2015 season were largely ineffective at preventing the spread of the flu, it appears the virus that recently circulated had taken on mutations not accounted for when last year’s vaccine was developed. Now, researchers at The Wistar Institute identified specific mutations that influenza recently acquired to escape the current vaccine design.