Researchers have found that vaccination against influenza strains seem to be more effective in a semi-urban population than in a rural population of schoolchildren in Gabon, Africa, according to an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, published by the University of Chicago Press in partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The study is one of eight that will be presented and webcast live from the National Institutes of Health on October 22, 2007 as part of the launch of the Council of Science Editors' Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development. The live stream is available beginning at 10 a.m. ET at: http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=6239.
Lead author E. van Riet (Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands) and a team of researchers analyzed antibody and cellular responses to influenza A and B strains in 33 children from a semi-urban school in Lambarn in Gabon, Africa, and 22 children from a rural area nearby.
The group found that H1N1, H3N2 and B influenza virus-specific antibodies were already present in the majority of sera before vaccination indicating that influenza strains have already been circulating in Gabon. With little information available about influenza in Africa, the findings of this study indicate that the presence of the virus has probably been underestimated.
Children in the two areas differed with respect to the rates of parasitic infections (higher in rural areas), as well as nutritional status (poorer in rural areas). Following vaccination, influenza virus HI antibody titers increased in both the rural and the semi-urban schoolchildren, but reached significantly higher levels in the semi-urban schoolchildren. The highest titers were seen in semi-urban children not infected with helminths.
Influenza specific IL-10, TNF-alfa, and IFN-gamma responses we
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