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Lifelong Flu Vaccine Possible July 23, 2010
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We also know the mutations that are out there as well, and we have got a good idea now of how to overcome these mutations.” — Marco Casarotto
Australian researchers say they have uncovered a key to how the flu virus mutates, which could lead to a new range of drugs to combat influenza, or even a lifelong vaccine.

Marco Casarotto of the Australian National University says the discovery is important because there is evidence suggesting that the currently available arsenal of vaccines could become ineffective within five years.

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Casarotto and Matthew Rosenberg said they found how older flu drugs interacted with a protein found in the influenza virus, which mutated and rendered the treatments useless.

They say they believe it will soon be possible to make drugs that can overcome these mutations.

Tamiflu, one of the two main anti-viral drugs currently available to fight flu outbreaks is already showing signs of resistance in flu strains.

Photo: File