Researchers have identified two antibodies that protect mice against lethal infections of influenza B virus, report scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Together with an antibody that targets the other major kind of influenza viruses that infect people — influenza A — these antibodies potentially could form the basis of a broad-spectrum flu drug that could treat almost all flu cases.
The findings are published Sep. 24 in the journal Immunity.
“People forget that before COVID-19 hit last winter, we were already in the midst of a really bad influenza season, especially for children,” said co-senior author Ali Ellebedy, PhD, an assistant professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University. “Last year, influenza B viruses attacked much earlier in the season than usual and resulted in significant illness and death among children. We really need better treatments