Never-before-seen antibodies can target many flu viruses

An illustration of the influenza A virus, showing the key surface proteins, hemagglutinin (in purple) and neuraminidase (in dark pink), that the virus uses to infect cells.  (Image credit: selvanegra via Getty Images)

A newly discovered class of antibodies in human blood can neutralize different types of the flu virus and could be key to the development of broadly protective vaccines against the seasonal viruses, scientists say.  

Circulating flu viruses constantly mutate, so “we need annual influenza virus vaccines to keep pace with continuing viral evolution,” the researchers behind the discovery said in a statement. “Our work suggests that the barriers to eliciting more broadly protective immunity may be surprisingly low,” they said. 

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