Is there a ‘universal flu vaccine’ made with mRNA technology?

Made with mRNA technology like the COVID-19 vaccine
Effective against more than 20 flu viruses… Clinical trial results are yet to come

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[아시아경제 윤슬기 기자] A study has shown that a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine using new messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology is effective against more than 20 viruses. It is a ‘universal flu vaccine’ which can prevent all types of seasonal flu with one vaccine.

According to the foreign press on the 24th, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have designed an mRNA vaccine that can prevent 20 influenza viruses using lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology, and as a result of animal experiments on mice and ferrets (weasels) , it is effective

mRNA technology is a method of injecting LNP that involves instructions to reproduce mRNA into the body without directly injecting the pathogen, copying the protein on the surface of the flu virus by itself, and synthesizing it into the antigen protein of the pathogen in the cell. Earlier, Pfizer and Moderna developed a COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology.

Influenza viruses are classified into four types: A, B, C, and D. Of these, type A, which has 18 subtypes, and type B, which has two lineages, cause seasonal influenza epidemics each year. . Current flu vaccines are classified into trivalent and quadrivalent depending on the number of virus types included in the vaccine, and show inhibitory effects on only 3 to 4 specific types of virus.

As a result of the experiment, the animal’s immune system recognized the repeated virus surface proteins and formed antibodies, showing a protective effect against 20 viruses, and the antibodies were maintained for 4 months. In addition, the vaccine candidate was effective in alleviating symptoms and reducing mortality against influenza viruses other than the 20 viruses. However, the results of the new vaccine’s clinical trials have not yet been released.

The results of this study were published in the international scientific journal ‘Science’. Commenting on the meaning of this study, Science said, “A universal flu vaccine that is effective against all 20 (seasonal flu viruses) will help prevent the next pandemic.” (With this study as an opportunity) The road to a universal flu vaccine has been opened,” he said.


Reporter Yoon Seul-gi [email protected]


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