Scientists may have pinpointed a potential way to prevent the flu by identifying a protein that amps up the immune system, according to a new animal study.
The synthetic protein, called EP67, is able to trigger an immune response to the "threat" of the flu virus within a couple of hours in mice, University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers said.
Right now, defenses against the flu include getting a flu shot, which protects you from the certain strains of the flu virus that are expected to be prevalent during any given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This technique allows antibodies to develop against those particular flu strains.
But with this protein, instead of guarding against particular strains, the entire immune system is bolstered, researchers explained in the PLoS ONE study.