US Researchers have discovered human antibodies that are able to neutralize not only H5N1 bird flu but other strains of influenza. There is hope now to develop them into lifesaving treatments.
WASHINGTON (February 24, 2009) - The antibodies they discovered and tested may also be used to protect front-line workers and others at high risk in case a pandemic of flu broke out, the researchers said.
Dr. Wayne Marasco of Dana-Farber said it should be straightforward to develop the antibodies as drugs, because they are already used broadly in cancer therapy.
A single injection protects for three weeks. "It provides durable immunity," Marasco said.
The journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reported that tests on mice show that the viruses neutralized several types of influenza A viruses, including the H5N1 avian influenza virus.
"We were surprised and actually delighted to find that these antibodies neutralized a majority of other influenza viruses, including the regular seasonal (H1N1 strain of) flu," Robert Liddington of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California, told reporters in a telephone briefing.
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