They may be winning a flu war…

Recent information out about the vaccine created to the pandemic 2009 H1N1 flu (H1N1pdm) shows that the vaccine may be able to prevent a number of different flu strains (specifically tested were H5N1 and H3N2).

What scientists have been aiming for is to find an epitope on a strain of flu that ALL flu viruses express and then make a neutralizing antibody response to that epitope. This is easy to do for certain viruses that only have one main infectious strain, or a dominant surface epitope (examples: measles and hepatitis B ).

This is less easy to do for viruses like the flu that are capable of rapidly mutating or have lots of different strains (examples:  Hepatitis C and rhinoviruses).

Scientists say that the 2009 H1n1 pdm creates high titers of antibodies that cross react with a number of different strains of flu.

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