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Pandemic flu strain could point way to universal vaccine
Date:1/10/2011

other common lab strains. Two antibodies could protect mice against an otherwise lethal dose of any of the three strains, even when the antibody was given 60 hours after infection. However, one antibody only protected against the 2009 H1N1 strain.

The antibody that only reacted to the 2009 H1N1 strain came from the patient with the most severe illness. The antibody genes from that patient suggest that the patient had a complete lack of preexisting immunity to H1N1 viruses, the authors write. In cases where patients experienced a milder illness, it appears that immune cells that developed in response to previous seasonal flu shots or infections formed a foundation of response to 2009 strain.

"The result is something like the Holy Grail for flu-vaccine research," says study author Patrick Wilson, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "It demonstrates how to make a single vaccine that could potentially provide permanent immunity to all influenza. The surprise was that such a very different influenza strain, as opposed to the most common strains, could lead us to something so widely applicable."


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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