Friday, December 10, 2010

Antibodies that react with but fail to stop the virus

By: Robert Roos, News Editor

Dec 9, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – A team of US and Argentine researchers has proposed an unusual biological mechanism to explain severe pandemic H1N1 influenza cases in nonelderly adults, involving antibodies that react with but fail to stop the virus.

The scientists, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and several institutions in Buenos Aires, say that the antibody response in some middle-aged adults, shaped by previous exposures to influenza, not only failed to block the new virus but also made things worse by activating the complement system, leading to a damaging accumulation of proteins in the lungs.

The researchers arrived at their conclusions by ... more>>

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