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Scientists identify human monoclonal antibodies effective against bird and seasonal flu viruses
Date:2/22/2009

head region. In this study, the scientists used recombinant purified protein, not virus, so the antigenic part of the virus recognized by the antibodies was fully exposed.

Seasonal influenza occurs each year, causing mild to severe illness. Worldwide, more than 250,000 deaths from seasonal influenza occur annually. The best protection from seasonal influenza is yearly vaccination.

Influenza pandemics are worldwide outbreaks of disease that occur when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, causes serious illness, and can spread across the country and around the world in a very short time. Health professionals are concerned that the continued spread of a highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus across eastern Asia and other countries represents a significant threat to human health. While vaccines can control influenza, they are not always effective because the vaccine must be updated each year. Vaccines against H5N1 in development have shown promise, but none has been reported to elicit a broad response in humans that would cover a broad range of different H5N1 virus strains. Antiviral medications, including the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir (Tamiflu ), is the primary treatment method, but has limited effectiveness if administered more than 24-48 hours after symptom onset.


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Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@burnham.org
858-795-5236
Burnham Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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