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‘Key step’ closer to universal flu vaccine

Researchers have discovered that the pandemic 2009 H1N1 vaccine can generate antibodies that protect against a variety of flu strains.

The discovery brings scientists closer to designing a “universal” influenza vaccine that reliably induces broadly cross-reactive antibodies at sufficiently high levels to protect against different influenza subtypes.

“Our new finding is a key step in the development of a vaccine that can produce high levels of antibodies that protect against multiple flu strains, including challenging mutations that have the potential for widespread illness and death,” says Rafi Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University and senior author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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