1918 and 2009 pandemic influenza viruses lack a sugar topping

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 13:07 in Health & Medicine

Although they emerged more than 90 years apart, the influenza viruses responsible for the pandemics of 1918 and 2009 share a structural detail that makes both susceptible to neutralization by the same antibodies. Scientists led by Gary J. Nabel, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, describe the molecular basis for this shared vulnerability and suggest how it might be exploited to design vaccines matched to future pandemic influenza virus strains. The research appears online today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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