Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Swine Flu Survivors Built Super Flu Antibodies
A study of antibodies in people who were infected with H1N1 swine flu suggests that a universal flu shot that could neutralize many flu strains, including swine and avian flu. Scientists believe that people who were infected with H1N1 developed a unique immune response in which antibodies that could protect them from all the seasonal H1N1 flu strains that have appeared in the last decade were produced. A universal flu vaccine could have a major impact in controlling influenza which kills anywhere from 3,300 to 49,000 people every year in the U.S. Scientists are currently working on a vaccine from antibodies isolated from nine people who were infected with the first wave of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Of these, five of the antibodies were cross-productive so that they are able to interfere with many different flu strains. Studies in mice show that they were protected from what is considered a lethal dose of the flu. The vaccine is currently being tested in people.