Together with the spiritual eyes, the beautiful long neck and the warm soft coats, the lamas have far less appreciated properties: they make a series of immune system antibodies so small that they can fit into cracks on the surface of the invasive virus.
One day, this venture could protect a person from the whole family of influenza viruses who threatened scientists with their unpredictable and variable forms.
Everything, potentially, show a nose with one year.
In a study published in a magazine Science, Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, USA and their international counterparts have taken a major step towards the long-term goal of developing a universal vaccine against influenza.
When they tested their intranasal formulation in mice, it quickly provided complete protection against the bundle of human influenza strains adapted to the mouse.
They include A viruses such as the "H1N1 swine flu", which in 2009 touched on the global pandemic and B viruses that only occur in humans.
Against H1N1, it has been demonstrated that the dose of the experimental vaccine has been protected for at least 35 days, which is a time that is greater than one season of influenza for humans.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), offered complete thanks for the new study, which received funding from the US National Institute of Health.
"From a scientific and technical point of view, this is really a very elegant study – the highest quality of science," he said.
He showed that scientists should produce vaccines that could kill a number of viruses in order to protect people from pathogens that may change or occur, even in people whose immune system is fragile or compromised.
Influenza is a viral scar that kills as many as 650,000 people each year, according to the World Health Organization.
In order to combat it, the research team has borrowed new techniques from immunological, microbiological, nanotechnological and genetic engineering laboratories around the world.
First, grafted lamas against many strains of influenza A and B of influenza. Then they took blood samples to collect the antibodies produced by the lamia in response.
Among them there were four uniquely small antibodies that showed the ability to destroy many different strains of influenza. In their address to their size and function, their creations were called "nanobodies".
Researchers have produced one protein that can be compressed into viruses that are too small for most proteins.
The resulting "MD3606 multidominal antibodies" with its "impressive width and strength" can provide protection against any kind of influenza outbreak that nature could throw into the human path, said the authors of the study.
If the dominant strain suddenly changed during a particular season, these antibodies would be ready for an unwanted guest.
If the strain of the flu did not come out of nowhere and threatened the population without immunity for this – a nightmare scenario of a pandemic flu – this supercharged defender would recognize this flu and against it.
If health officials misjudged what was happening with influenza illness and ordered a vaccine that would be largely ineffective – a scenario that took place during the 2017 influenza season, this antibody package could save the day.
But researchers have still faced a key obstacle: to acquire a human immune system to make such a super-protein, even if it is weighted by age, stress and disease.
Their solution: do not even try.
Instead, they developed a way to work around an unreliable human response to vaccines, building a gene that coded production plans for their protein power.
To transfer this gene to the host organism, they included a harmless virus that is used by laboratories working on gene therapy.
By merging their design genes into this virus-making device, scientists did not just find the way to get their antibody package into the host, but they also delivered production mechanisms to produce it.
This "passive transfer" of antibodies gives this vaccine the ability to be equally effective at all, said dr. Fauci.
The next step is to carry out further animal tests and clinical trials in humans and that it will "take several years," he said.
"But if it is fully successful – a magnificent leap – it could essentially eliminate the need for the season in the season," in order for the deity to cope with countless possible influenza viruses and then build an annual flu vaccine that fits nicely into the account.
Immunologist Scripps dr. Ian Wilson, a senior study author, said that once cells infected with the delivery virus returned, they could be repeated doses to maintain antibody production. "We do not really know how long the treatment will last in humans," he said.
But even less than permanent immunity against a wide range of influenza threats would help people prevent unexpected influenza strains, he said.
And the quick response of the mouse to the vaccine shows that it could be used to inoculate the population after the emergence of a new viral hazard, he added.
In order for each experimental vaccine to be used every year, this is an interesting hybrid, says dr. Ted M. Ross, who runs the University of Georgia's Vaccine and Immunology Center.
"This approach is similar to antivenoms," he said. "Therapeutic agent is an antibody that was produced in the second row to neutralize toxin. This is short-term, but it gets you through the time when bad things can happen."
Over time, patients who repeatedly receive the same antibodies could begin to build resistance to them, he said.
Producers of the vaccine could oppose this by detecting and integrating new antibodies into their formulation every few years, he suggested.
Dr. Ross and other scientists have also warned that the human immune system may be seen as foreign and attacking the protein derived from the lama.
This is not the only universal influenza vaccine in development. In May 2018, NIAID launched the first clinical trial to test the safety of a universal influenza vaccine in 120 healthy people.
The candidate vaccine, called M-001, targets the parts of the influenza virus, which usually do not change, as well as other proteins. This should recognize the human immune system and fight against different strains of influenza viruses.
Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, a Dutch company employing some study authors, has applied for a patent covering some of the molecules described in the report. – Los Angeles Times / Tribune News Service