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Friday, December 10, 2010

CIDRAP : Study blames faulty immune response for severe H1N1 in adults


" Dec 9, 2010 : A team of US and Argentine researchers has proposed an unusual biological mechanism to explain severe pandemic H1N1 influenza cases in nonelderly adults, involving antibodies that react with but fail to stop the virus.

The scientists, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and several institutions in Buenos Aires, say that the antibody response in some middle-aged adults, shaped by previous exposures to influenza, not only failed to block the new virus but also made things worse by activating the complement system, leading to a damaging accumulation of proteins in the lungs.

The researchers arrived at their conclusions by analyzing and comparing samples from adults and children infected with the pandemic H1N1 virus and with recent seasonal flu viruses and by studying archived samples from patients in the 1957 flu pandemic. They reported their findings this week in Nature Medicine."

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