Washington (AFP) March 24, 2010
A pandemic flu virus from 1918 is markedly similar to last year's H1N1 strain, according to a study published Wednesday, which scientists said could help in the creation of new vaccines.
The research was published in the online journal Science Translational Medicine said.
"This study defines an unexpected similarity between two pandemic-causing strains of influenza," said Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
"It gives us a new understanding of how pandemic viruses evolve into seasonal strains, and, importantly, provides direction for developing vaccines to slow or prevent that transformation," Fauci said.
Researchers at the NIAID and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) injected mice with a vaccine made from inactivated 1918 influenza virus, then exposed them to high levels of the 2009 H1N1 virus.
All of the vaccinated mice survived.
The scientists then repeated the experiment, this time vaccinating the mice with inactivated 2009 H1N1 virus and exposing them to high concentrations of the 1918 virus. Again, the mice survived.
The "surprising" finding is that either pandemic virus could be used to create a vaccine that caused the mice to produce antibodies capable of neutralizing the other.
"This is a surprising result," said NIAID scientist Gary Nabel, who led the research.
"We wouldn't have expected that cross-reactive antibodies would be generated against viruses separated by so many years," he said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola
Bird flu remains a threat: WHO
Manila (AFP) March 24, 2010
Bird flu outbreaks that have killed seven people in several countries so far this year show the virus remains a threat to humans, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday. "The newly confirmed human and poultry cases of avian influenza this year are a reminder that the virus poses a real and continuous threat to human health," the WHO said in a statement. One danger is that bir ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|