Scientists create ‘revolutionary’ flu vaccine
Chinese researchers said Thursday they may have found a simple, convenient and potentially “revolutionary” new approach to create effective vaccines by just genetically tweaking live viruses to make them capable of activating the immune system but unable to replicate in healthy cells.
In a proof-of-principle study, the vaccine they developed against flu proved effective in mice, guinea pigs and ferrets, the researchers reported in the US journal Science.
“We believe our approach will become a general, simple and convenient approach for generation of live virus vaccines adapted to almost any viruses,” Professor Deming Zhou of Peking University, who led the study, told Xinhua.
“This will help control pandemics of influenza and other life-threatening RNA viruses.”
Traditionally, vaccines use either dead or weakened forms of viruses. Those containing weakened viruses retain some degree of ability to replicate and therefore still have toxic effects, he said.