In an attempt to combat H7N9, one of the most dangerous influenza viruses transmitted from birds to humans, a team of scientists at Vanderbilt University has achieved good success in terms of antibodies that can block avian influenza.
The researchers, who published their study on Cell Host & Microbe, claim to have discovered a group of human monoclonal antibodies that can protect mice from avian influenza. These antibodies were isolated from two survivors of H7N9 infections and were then grown in the laboratory.
The main finding of this study, as James Crowe, one of the authors, says, is that the man-made antibodies are already sufficient to protect themselves and even cure H7N9 influenza. So the idea of a vaccine for this strain of avian influenza that could contain human antibodies is emerging.
The H7N9 virus can infect humans through contact with wild birds, but very often infections occur through contact with poultry. The first known case occurred in China in 2013 and by the end of that year, 144 cases had already been reported, 30% of which were fatal. It is one of the deadliest influenza viruses ever detected so far, according to the study’s press release.
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