Flu research points to new delivery technique

Researchers at Texas A&M University are participating in developing a treatment for influenza that forms a jelly when sprayed into the nose. Even though trial treatments are being used to treat bird flu in humans, the vaccine has the potential for numerous other uses, such as for the common flu, says Dr. Ian Tizard, professor of pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The project is funded in part by a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to Irving, TX-based DelSite Biotechnologies in conjunction with the Texas A&M teams.

"We take Aloe vera leaves and put them through a series of complex extraction steps to produce a chemically pure powder, and then we combine the flu vaccine with it," Tizard explains. "When this powder vaccine is puffed into the nose, it forms a jelly-like substance that clings to the inside of the nose and is absorbed into the body much more effectively. It stays longer and it has more time to do its work."

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