Science for Health
24 July 2012
NIMR's influenza research is featured in the latest MRC Annual Report and Accounts.
The MRC annual report contains details of MRC activities and achievements in research, partnerships, training and career development, knowledge transfer, and public engagement. The report also contains financial information.
The MRC report explains that finding a vaccine that can protect against all strains of influenza is a major aim of virologists. Researchers at NIMR collaborated with researchers in Switzerland to discover an antibody that can bind to and deactivate all types of Influenza A that commonly cause disease in humans and animals. The antibody targets a region of the virus that does not readily mutate, suggesting this region could be used to create a long-lasting universal vaccine.
The report quotes NIMR virologist John Skehel, who worked with Steve Gamblin in the Division of Molecular Structure.
It is estimated that every year millions of people are infected with influenza A viruses and, although the majority of infections are mild, those in vulnerable groups, such as the very old or the very young, may be more seriously affected and more likely to die or be hospitalised. Having a universal treatment which can be given in emergency circumstances would be an invaluable asset.
The MRC Annual Report also highlights NIMR's successful five-year review, the preparations for the Francis Crick Institute, and the involvement of NIMR scientists in community engagement programmes.
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