A new, double-layered nanoparticle vaccine made with peptides has been found to effectively protect mice against influenza A virus, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Influenza, a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs, is a persistent threat to public health and is among the leading causes of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the 2017-18 flu season was a high severity season with record-breaking levels of influenza-like illness and hospitalization rates.

Universal flu vaccines that can induce broad and effective protection against a wide range of influenza viruses are urgently needed. Scientists now must update seasonal flu vaccines every year by predicting which strains will be the most common during the upcoming flu season. If seasonal flu vaccines are mismatched against circulating influenza strains, they provide low effectiveness and limited protection, which could lead to influenza epidemics and pandemics.

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