Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Earlier flu viruses provided some immunity to current H1N1 influenza, study shows
University of California - Davis ^ | Oct 14, 2009 | Unknown

Posted on 10/14/2009 12:31:12 PM PDT by decimon

University of California, Davis, researchers studying the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, formerly referred to as "swine flu," have identified a group of immunologically important sites on the virus that are also present in seasonal flu viruses that have been circulating for years. These molecular sites appear to result in some level of immunity to the new virus in people who were exposed to the earlier influenza viruses.

More than a dozen structural sites, or epitopes, in the virus may explain why many people over the age of 60, who were likely exposed to similar viruses earlier in life, carry antibodies or other type of immunity against the new virus, immune responses that could be attributed to earlier flu exposure and vaccinations.

Researchers Zheng Xing, a project scientist, and Carol Cardona, a veterinarian and Cooperative Extension specialist, both of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, report their findings online in the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The report will appear in the November print edition of the journal, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"These findings indicate that human populations may have some level of existing immunity to the pandemic H1N1 influenza and may explain why the 2009 H1N1-related symptoms have been generally mild," Cardona said.

"Our hypothesis, based on the application of data collected by other researchers, suggests that cell-mediated immunity, as opposed to antibody-mediated immunity, may play a key role in lowering the disease-causing ability, or pathogenicity, of the 2009 H1N1 influenza," Xing added.

He noted that immune responses based on production of specific cells, known as cytotoxic T-cells, have been largely neglected in evaluating the efficacy of flu vaccinations. In this type of immune response, the T-cells and the antiviral chemicals that they secrete attack the invading viruses.

About 2009 H1N1 influenza

The 2009 H1N1 virus is a new strain of influenza that first appeared in the United States in April 2009. Early on, it was referred to as "swine flu" because it was genetically similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. Further study, however, revealed that the virus actually included genes from viruses found in birds and humans, as well as pigs.

At first, this H1N1 influenza virus apparently caused a high number of deaths among patients in Mexico and among people with certain pre-existing medical conditions. But as it has progressed to become a pandemic or geographically widespread virus, H1N1 has caused relatively mild symptoms and few deaths.

One hallmark of this new influenza virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been the presence of pre-existing antibodies against the virus in about one third of H1N1 2009 patients over the age of 60, a phenomenon that suggested some levels of immunity may have existed to the new pandemic H1N1 virus. The UC Davis research

To probe this phenomenon, the UC Davis researchers surveyed data from earlier studies of epitopes known to exist on different strains of seasonal influenza A. They found that these epitopes, present in other seasonal H1N1 influenza strains around the world and capable of triggering an immune response, were also present in the strains of H1N1 2009 that were found in California, Texas and New York.

Interestingly, although previous H1N1 viruses seem to have produced a protective antibody response in exposed people, these antibodies largely did not provide cross-protection for individuals infected with the H1N1 2009 strain of influenza. The researchers theorize that, rather than stimulating protective antibodies, the epitopes of the new H1N1 2009 virus produced an immune response by triggering production of cytotoxic T-cells, which boost a person's immune defenses by killing infected cells and attacking the invading viruses.

Humans can mount two types of immune responses. One type is produced when the invading virus triggers production of protective antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream, and the other type, described above, is known as a cell-mediated immune response. It is produced when the invading virus triggers the activation of cytotoxic T-cells, a process that helps clear the virus from the body. Evidence from earlier studies suggests that cytotoxic T-cell immune immunity can be caused by either an active viral infection or by vaccination against such a virus.

Implications for avian influenza

The researchers note that about 80 percent of the epitopes found in seasonal influenza and flu vaccine viruses are also present in the highly pathogenic H5N1, or avian influenza, virus. They suggest that these epitopes may have protected some individuals infected with the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus through cytotoxic T-cell immunity.

However, the H5N1 virus rapidly reproduces itself and spreads so quickly within vital organs that the body may not be able to launch protective immunity, thus accounting for the high fatality rate of avian influenza.

Furthermore, only a fraction of the human population can recognize the specific epitopes necessary to cause the appropriate protective immune response, which may explain why the H1N1 2009 virus, as well as avian influenza, may vary in severity from person to person.

Xing and Cardona propose that immunity acquired from seasonal influenza or flu vaccinations may provide partial protection for patients infected with the avian influenza virus due to the shared epitopes essential for cytotoxic T-cell immunity.

This is supported by statistics from the World Health Organization indicating that there have been fewer avian influenza infections in people 40 years and older than there were in people under that age, and that the fatality rate of avian influenza was just 32 percent in the older age group but 59 percent in the younger group.

The researchers, therefore, suggest that repeated exposure to seasonal influenza viruses or flu vaccinations may have resulted in cytotoxic T-cell immunity to avian influenza, and that the same type of immunity may also have developed in people exposed to the H1N1 virus.

###

Funding for this study was provided by grants from the Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense, and by the UC Davis Center for California Food Animal Health.

About UC Davis

For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 31,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $500 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science — and advanced degrees from six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: earlier; flu; godsgravesglyphs; h1n1; immunity; influenza; medicine; seniors; study; swineflu; viruses
One hallmark of this new influenza virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been the presence of pre-existing antibodies against the virus in about one third of H1N1 2009 patients over the age of 60...

I guess you'd have to be somewhat ill to be a patient. Could be that many have had this flu without knowing it.

1 posted on 10/14/2009 12:31:13 PM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem; nickcarraway

Of possible interest ping.


2 posted on 10/14/2009 12:34:32 PM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
Over the age of 60....They can chalk death up to pneumonia...If you think they are going to test them for the flu, you're kidding yourself.

Government control!!

3 posted on 10/14/2009 12:42:39 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau
Over the age of 60....They can chalk death up to pneumonia...

It may well be a resultant pneumonia to get you.

4 posted on 10/14/2009 12:54:39 PM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: TigersEye

flu ping


5 posted on 10/14/2009 1:56:07 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Don't play leapfrog with a unicorn.....................^........................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks decimon. The "Spanish Lady" killer flu of 1918 apparently didn't infect any of the older folks who'd had an earlier serious flu about thirty years earlier.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


6 posted on 10/14/2009 2:22:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

I’ll do them one better:

HAVING the current flu will give me immunity in the future!

Trust me, it’s nasty stuff... get some chloroseptic because you WILL have one heck of a sore throat...

Also. chicken noodle soup and eggs are highly recommended, you need that stuff to make antibodies.
Have some cans of frozen lemonade on hand, you will thank yourself for it.

I just got done looking at some stuff on a paper towel from me blowing my nose with my microscope.
I got real nice white cells, I tell ya!!


7 posted on 10/14/2009 2:29:20 PM PDT by djf (Some people are proud. Some people are curious. I'm proud that I'm curious!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

No, no, not Neanderthal flu! ;-)


8 posted on 10/14/2009 2:46:18 PM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: decimon

Neanderflu? ;’)


9 posted on 10/14/2009 4:10:29 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: decimon
There was a swine flu epidemic in the 1970's, which is seldom discussed in the media. I came down with it in the middle of my last final, and at first thought the symptoms were due to stress and exhaustion. By the time I got home I was really sick, fever, headache, body aches, etc. I was really sick for 3-4 days and then gradually got better.

There were ADS about getting immunized, which seem for the most part to have dropped down the rabbit hole, although I bet some are on YouTube.

My guess is anyone who was older than 5 or so at that time has some sort of immunity, either from contracting it then or having developed some resistance by being around others who had the virus. That's why it seems to be hitting only children and young adults...they weren't alive the last time this swept through the country. I wouldn't have thought it would take a special study to figure this out.

10 posted on 10/15/2009 3:29:31 AM PDT by Miss Marple
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon

“Could be that many have had this flu without knowing it.”

You can develope immunities without ever having been sick. Your body does it every day.


11 posted on 10/15/2009 4:14:53 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wolfcreek
“Could be that many have had this flu without knowing it.”

You can develope immunities without ever having been sick. Your body does it every day.

The last time I succumbed to something called a flu was some twenty years ago. And my job brought me in to contact with many people. I probably had many a flu but would get no more than some cold symptoms.

I'm sure you build many immunities in a place like NYC. In fact, I'd like to see statistics comparing the rate of reported H1N1 cases in urban versus rural areas.

12 posted on 10/15/2009 4:37:57 AM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: decimon

We take natural preventatives/immune boosters which probably mask many of the effects of any given illness and make recovery time shorter.

I haven’t missed a day of work in 10 or 11 yrs.

(knock on wood)


13 posted on 10/15/2009 4:46:42 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: decimon

I posted this theory on an earlier thread without billions of research dollars. Constantly taking the flu vaccine only exposes you to a small antigenic site, but having the flu, just once, increases the likelihood that you will have immunity to more than one antigenic site which may be shared by later strains. I would only take the flu shot if I was seriously sick, or had a seriously sick person I was in contact with everyday. Otherwise, I would rather catch a version of the flu and be sick for a bit (while I am healthy) so I could have some natural immunity to multiple antigenic sites that may be in later strains. Basic immuno 101.


14 posted on 10/15/2009 5:00:16 AM PDT by momincombatboots (Tom Lyons: Son in Law, Husband Father 1988-2009 KIA 090809- Hero 2 me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson