Immunologists reported recently that the drug rapamycin, normally used to restrain the immune system after organ transplant, has the unexpected ability to broaden the activity of a flu vaccine.
The results, published in Nature Immunology, indicate that rapamycin steers immune cells away from producing antibodies that strongly target a particular flu strain, in favor of those that block a wide variety of strains. The results could help in the effort to develop a universal flu vaccine.
This study was inspired by a 2009 Nature study from Koichi Araki and Emory Vaccine Center director Rafi Ahmed, reports Jon Cohen in Science magazine. Read more