Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Could H1N1 show us how to make a vaccine for all Influenza viruses?

A study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that antibodies made by the human body while fighting H1N1 can later be used to kill other flu strains.  The study suggests that there may be potential from these antibodies to learn how to make a universal flu vaccine to protect against all types of influenza.   

In the study, the antibodies that were produced in the subject who had recovered from swine flu were are very rarely seen in people who had received the yearly flu vaccine or who had recovered from the seasonal flu.  Five of the antibodies that were identified in patients who had recovered from H1N1 could fight off the 1918 Spanish flu and the bird flu.  The study however, was only of nine people and the limited sample size may have skewed the results. 
Hannah Harrison 


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