Washington: Just in time for flu season, there may be a brand-new way to deal with the disease.
Influenza is a flu that leads to contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.
According to a new research conducted by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, influenza vaccines that better target the influenza surface protein called neuraminidase (NA) could offer broad protection against various influenza virus strains and lessen the severity of illness.
Some seasonal influenza vaccines mainly target hemagglutinin (HA), which is more abundant than NA.
Studies are exploring ways to improve vaccine effectiveness as influenza vaccines offer varying and limited protection.
The analyses of the study indicate that influenza vaccines rarely induce NA-reactive antibodies, whereas natural influenza infection induces these types of antibodies at least as often as they induce HA-reactive antibodies.
Additional experiments show that the NA-reactive antibodies induced during natural influenza infection are broadly reactive, meaning they could potentially protect against diverse strains of influenza.
The study concluded that influenza vaccines should be optimized to better target NA for broad protection against diverse influenza strains.
The findings are published in the Journal of Cell.