American scientists have cordoned allies to develop anti-influenza treatment: lamas. The blood of this South American animal was used to produce new antibody therapy that has the potential to fight all types of influenza.
Flu is one of the most capable diseases when it comes to changing shape. It continually modifies your appearance to curb our immune system. This explains why vaccines are not always effective, and every winter it is necessary to receive a new injection to prevent the disease.
So, science seeks a way to stop all types of influenza, no matter who it comes from or how it is mutated. And here comes the bastard.
These animals, the native Andam, have incredibly small antibodies compared to humans. Antibodies are weapons of the immune system and adhere to the protein that spills on the surface of the virus.
Human antibodies hint at the attacks of these proteins, but this is where the virus influenza virus swings faster. Lame antibodies, small in size, can attack parts of the non-mutating virus.
Synthetic antibodies based on what the lama has best
A team from the Scripps Institute in the United States has infected lamas with several types of influenza to stimulate the response from their immune system. They then analyzed the blood of animals for the strongest antibodies that could attack a wide range of viruses.
The scientists then identified four lamina antibodies. Then they began to develop synthetic antibodies, which link elements of these four types.
In the second phase of the study, this synthetic antibody was tested on rats giving lethal influenza. "One of them was not neutralized (from synthetic antibodies) – it's already a virus that does not affect people," said Professor Ian Wilson, one of the study's authors.
"The goal is to create a protection that does not have to be renewed every year, and to protect against possible pandemics if it occurs," he said.
The paper, published in the scientific journal Science, it's still in the early stages. The team of scientists intends to perform more experiments before doing tests with humans.
Vaccines and genetic therapies with a synthetic antibody
The researchers used two different techniques when using synthetic antibodies to rats. The first was an injection – like a vaccine.
The other was genetic therapy. By this process, genetic instructions for the development of synthetic antibodies are packaged in a harmless virus-that is, it does not cause disease. This reckless virus was then used to infect rats.
One advantage of synthetic antibody treatment based on the most effective lamella antibodies is that it can be more effective in preventing influenza in older people – in general, older populations have a more irritating immune system.
"Having treatment that works against different types of influenza virus is a very desirable thing, it's the Holy Grail of Flu," says Professor Jonathan Ball of the University of Nottingham.
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