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Immune molecules target swine- and avian-origin influenza

Date:
April 17, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Immune molecules known as antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection target the highly variable influenza protein HA. It is thought the antibodies generated by an individual's immune system protect against only a few closely related influenza viruses. However, new research indicates that some individuals vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccine produce antibodies that can target the forms of HA used by the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus and the recent swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.

Antibodies are immune molecules that have a key role in protecting against infection with influenza virus. The target of the protective antibodies is the influenza protein HA, which varies so dramatically among influenza viruses that it is used to classify them into subtypes (H1-H16). It is thought that the antibodies generated by an individual's immune system protect against only a few closely related influenza viruses.

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However, Antonio Lanzavecchia and colleagues, at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Switzerland, have now found that some individuals vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccine containing H1 and H3 influenza viruses produce antibodies that can target H5 HA, the form of HA used by the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Although these antibodies protected mice from a recent swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza virus and several H5N1 influenza viruses, the authors note that more work needs to be done to determine whether individuals produce these antibodies at high enough levels to provide them with protection from infection by different influenza virus subtypes and how vaccination might promote their high level production.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Davide Corti, Amorsolo L. Suguitan, Jr., Debora Pinna, Chiara Silacci, Blanca M. Fernandez-Rodriguez, Fabrizia Vanzetta, Celia Santos, Catherine J. Luke, Fernando J. Torres-Velez, Nigel J. Temperton, Robin A. Weiss, Federica Sallusto, Kanta Subbarao and Antonio Lanzavecchia. Heterosubtypic neutralizing antibodies are produced by individuals immunized with a seasonal influenza vaccine. J Clin Invest., 2010 DOI: 10.1172/JCI41902

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Immune molecules target swine- and avian-origin influenza." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412172826.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, April 17). Immune molecules target swine- and avian-origin influenza. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412172826.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Immune molecules target swine- and avian-origin influenza." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412172826.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

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