Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
  Avian & pandemic flu
  Cancer
  Earthquakes
  Floods
  HIV & AIDS
  Malaria
  Stem cells
  Volcanoes
  Water
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lichtenstein
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Madagascar
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tanzania
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Uganda
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


This page was published on 19/10/2006
Published: 19/10/2006

   Special Collections

Last Update: 19-10-2006  
Related category(ies):
Agriculture & food  |  Health & life sciences  |  Special Collections  |  Science in society  |  Pure sciences

 

Add to PDF "basket"

European researcher developing revolutionary flu vaccine

Professor Nigel Dimmock from the University of Warwick has developed a vaccination method that effectively turns the flu virus against itself. This new method is particularly important because it can be used against numerous different strains of flu, and therefore may be the answer to avian flu. Traditional vaccines are specific to only one type of flu.

The new vaccine may make needles a thing of the past. © Matt+
The new vaccine may make needles a thing of the past.
Mr Dimmock has spent the last twenty years of his career developing this innovative method that uses what he calls a ‘protecting virus'. He has devised a system by which a significant portion of the flu's genetic make-up is deleted rendering the virus harmless and incapable of reproducing on its own. However, when it comes in contact with another strain of flu it then starts to reproduce all the while remaining innocuous.

The neutralised flu combination reproduces at a much higher rate than the normal virus, thereby crowding out the harmful virus. This slows its development process giving the body time to develop a sufficient response to ward it off. The infectious virus in effect becomes its own vaccine.

Research into the method indicates that it is effective against all types of flu strains. Traditional vaccines stimulate the body's natural defence into producing antibodies that attach themselves to the surface of the virus and kill it. Such vaccines are effective for only one type of flu due to the fact that the surface to each type of virus is different; therefore you must trigger the right kind of antibody.

That is why existing vaccines remain ineffective against new strains of the flu; such as with avian flu. Mr Dimmock's method takes a different approach to fighting flu infections and may be the answer to concerns of an avian flu pandemic.

An added benefit to the ‘protecting virus' approach is that its beneficial qualities go into effect immediately, as opposed to the two to three week incubation period for traditional vaccines. Another advantage is that the flu virus does not appear to become resistant to the ‘protecting virus', which is a serious problem with many microbes.

Aside from its effectiveness in fighting the flu, another feature might make this approach the vaccine of the future: no needles. So far tests have been conducted with a drop of saline containing the protecting virus squirted up the nose.

The University of Warwick research team has filed a patent on the protecting virus and are exploring ways to organise human clinical trials. The university has established the company ViraBiotech as way of advancing research.

Normally such research would not be made public until human trials have been conducted, but due to global concern of flu outbreaks, including avian flu, the university decided to release the preliminary findings as a way to aid further research.

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

Avian flu on Europa
EU-funded Research on Pandemic and Avian Influenza
The University of Warwick





  Top   Research Information Center