Aug. 28, 2018

Scientists have identified a potential universal influenza vaccine that could protect people against most strains of the virus.


  • Recent development:Haemagglutinin (designated as HA) is a glycoprotein found on the surface of influenza viruses.

  • The name comes from the protein's ability to cause red blood cells (erythrocytes) to clump together (agglutinate) in vitro.

  • Being a class I fusion protein, it is responsible for binding the virus to cells with sialic acid on the membranes, such as cells in the erythrocytes.

  • The candidate vaccine, described in the journal Nature Communications, is called the hemagglutinin (HA) stalk which protected mice from infection by various flu strains.

  • HA stalk has the potential to be developed into a universal flu vaccine, which – unlike the current seasonal flu vaccines – could be given a few times over a lifetime to provide protection potentially similar to a tetanus vaccine.

Source : The Hindu