"New Ideas to Fight the Flu" - Lucette Lagnado
Researchers spooked by the recent brutal flu season and fearful of a pandemic are looking for something more effective than a seasonal shot to prevent the virus. Ideas include germ-killing lamps and a turbo-charged ‘universal vaccine’ that would be effective for years and would fight all strains of flu, not just a few. Most experts said a long-term and more effective universal vaccine should be the priority. “I am a firm believer that the best solution is an appropriate vaccine,” said Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, director of Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, noting that smallpox was eradicated by vaccine. “The ultimate dream is the universal vaccine, but even one that works better than the season flu shot would be welcome,” Dr. Garcia-Sastre added. The flu virus is covered in proteins shaped like mushrooms, said Florian Krammer, PhD, associate professor of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai researcher’s vaccine focuses on the ‘stalk’ of the virus, which doesn’t change, so a person would ideally need no more than two or three shots during their lifetime. A trial of the shot’s safety and immune response is under way on about 65 patients.
— Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, Director, Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Professor, Microbiology, Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
— Florian Krammer, PhD, Associate Professor, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai