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Scientists make 'extraordinary breakthrough' that could lead to universal flu vaccine

The scientists discovered immune cells that can fight all strains of the flu.
Flu shot

Australian scientists believe they’ve made an “extraordinary breakthrough” in what could lead to the creation of a universal flu vaccine, RT reports.

Scientists at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity – University of Melbourne (Australia) professor Katherine Kedzierska and doctoral researcher Marios Koutsakos – discovered immune cells that can fight through all known flu viruses and mutations.

The study was also published Tuesday in the Nature Immunology journal.

The scientists studied 67,000 viral sequences and narrowed them down into three sequences which are common across all strains of the influenza virus.

In the study, the scientists identified so-called “killer T cells” found in more than half the world’s population. The cells act like the body’s own private security, identifying abnormalities and infections and killing them.

Harvesting and replicating these cells could lead to the production of an all-in-one flu shot. Patients would only need to receive the hypothetical shot once a decade or possibly once in a lifetime.

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