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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CIDRAP : Study finds versatile flu antibodies in human serum

From Robert Ross at CIDRAP, excerpt :

" Apr 11, 2011 (CIDRAP News) : A team of US researchers recently added to the evidence that humans can and do produce antibodies that target a wide range of influenza strains, though how the findings can be exploited in the quest for a "universal" flu vaccine remains to be seen.

The researchers tested serum samples from participants in an H5N1 flu vaccine study and also looked in a commercial preparation of intravenous immunoglobulin (an antibody preparation made from blood plasma and used to treat certain diseases). In both cases they found low levels of broadly neutralizing influenza A antibodies, including antibodies covering both of the major influenza A groups.

"These data—to our knowledge, for the first time—quantitatively show the presence, albeit at low levels, of two populations of heterosubtypic BnAbs [broadly neutralizing antibodies] against influenza A in human serum," says the report in the Apr 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID). The research team included members from several institutions in Boston; La Jolla, Calif.; and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Maryland."

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