Sci­en­tists cre­ate ‘rev­o­lu­tion­ary’ flu vac­cine

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

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.

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