Scientists from the Fujita Health University have discovered an antibody against the H5N1 bird flu virus in a man from Aichi Prefecture. Previously, it was believed that there was no human who had developed an antibody against the influenza virus, as this disease has never been detected in any persons in Japan.
One of the members of the research group and University President Yoshikazu Kurosawa explained that the man may have developed the ability to create the antibody because of past flu infections that he has had until he was 21 years old. When they gave the 60-year-old man a vaccination for the H1N1 influenza and then tested his blood a month later, they discovered that he had an antibody which is different from the one that fights the H1N1 virus. The VH1-69 antibody has the ability to block other virus including the H1N1 and H5N1. Scientists say that cells that have experienced past flu infections have developed this particular antibody.
Kurosawa said that other medical scientists have to conduct further studies on the man and find out if other people may have also developed the same antibody. This would be helpful in case of an outbreak of the influenza pandemic. They published their study in the American online science magazine Plos One and it came out on February 6.
[ via Mainichi ]
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