Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Humans are naturally immune to bird flu!

Inthenews.co.uk: Many people may be naturally immune to the effects of avian influenza, a new US study has concluded. Research on mice and humans found natural resistance to flu strains that people are typically exposed to could be translated into immunity against bird flu itself.
Ever since an outbreak of bird flu in south-east Asia spread to neighboring regions in 2004, scientists have been concerned that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza could signal a new pandemic among humans.
But researchers from the St Jude's Children's Research Hospital say that due to the fact seasonal human flu (H1N1) and bird flu contain a closely related neuraminidase (N1) – a disease spreading agent – many people immune to the former could have a similar resistance to the latter.
In laboratory tests mice were immunised with DNA that caused their cells to make neuraminidase from the H1N1 virus.
Scientists then examined the mice's immune response to the human N1 and avian N1 isolated from a patient in south-east Asia. All the mice survived infection from a manmade flu virus containing human N1, while half died after being infected with avian N1.
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