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Aust team targets single flu shot for life

Aust team targets single flu shot for life
Photo: Aust team targets single flu shot for life
Australian researchers say they've discovered cells that memorise flu strains, which could lead to a single vaccine against all forms of the virus.

Australian researchers have been part of a discovery that could lead to a single-shot flu vaccine offering protection for life.

The University of Melbourne-led team says "killer" CD8+T cells are tasked with taking out new viruses and are able to memorise distinct strains.

The discovery was made with researchers from China's Fudan University during the avian flu breakout of 2013.

Samples from patients infected with that flu showed those who could not make the T cells were dying.

The University of Melbourne's Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska says the research could lead to a vaccine component that would protect against all new influenza strains.
It could also help clinicians make early predictions about how well a patient's immune system will handle a virus.

The research paper, "Recovery from Severe H7N9 Disease is Associated with Diverse Response Mechanisms Dominated by CD8+T Cells", has been published in Nature Communications.

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