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Horse Antibodies Could Combat A Bird Flu Outbreak
New Scientist ^ | 3-28-2006 | Debora MacKenzie

Posted on 03/28/2006 11:25:50 AM PST by blam

Horse antibodies could combat a bird flu outbreak

12:16 28 March 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Debora MacKenzie

An old-fashioned method may offer a cheap and quick way to protect against the H5N1 bird flu virus.

Chinese scientists have produced antibodies in horses that are an effective treatment for bird flu – at least in mice.

Jiahai Lu at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and colleagues repeatedly inoculated horses with a chicken vaccine against H5N1 bird flu to make them produce antibodies.

They then collected the horses’ blood, separated out the antibodies and split them to make them less likely to cause an allergic reaction when injected into a human. When they injected mice with a tenth of a milligram of these antibodies 24 hours after they had been given an otherwise lethal dose of H5N1, all the mice lived.

Costly keep

In theory, such antibodies could be made quickly against a pandemic strain of H5N1, potentially saving many lives and limiting the spread of the virus. The trouble is that most drug companies have stopped making antibodies this way.

This is because keeping horses is expensive and until now the markets for antiserum have been in poor countries and offer low financial returns. In addition, animal rights campaigners object to the technique.

Companies have instead invested in making modern, monoclonal antibodies using cell cultures. "It would be complex and expensive for a company to hugely scale up its monoclonal production to treat whole populations rather than a few people,” says David Fedson, founder of the vaccine industry’s pandemic task force.

Journal reference: Respiratory Research (DOI: 10.1186/1465-9921-7-43)


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antibodies; bird; combat; could; flu; horse; outbreak

1 posted on 03/28/2006 11:25:53 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
>They then collected the horses’ blood, separated out the antibodies

Horses have it rough!
One group of doctors collects
their urine to make

birth control pills, now
a second group of doctors
wants to take their blood . . .

2 posted on 03/28/2006 11:30:41 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: blam

Why couldn't it be pigs?.............


3 posted on 03/28/2006 11:31:20 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
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To: theFIRMbss

All the mice lived, but now they want to run in the Kentucky Derby.........


4 posted on 03/28/2006 11:33:02 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
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To: blam

Horses, chickens, mice? Old MacDonald had a pandemic, E, I, E, I, O. Barnyard buggery'll be the death of us all, E, I, E, I, O.


5 posted on 03/28/2006 11:33:03 AM PST by Sax (Ahmagonnadoajihad - His name says it all)
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To: Red Badger
All the mice lived, but now they want to run in the Kentucky Derby.........

Probably become a bunch of neigh-sayers.

6 posted on 03/28/2006 11:36:31 AM PST by N. Theknow (Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.)
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To: N. Theknow

A horse is a horse, of course, of course.......


7 posted on 03/28/2006 11:37:23 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
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To: blam
. . . In addition, animal rights campaigners object to the technique.

Of course they do.

8 posted on 03/28/2006 11:37:32 AM PST by Logophile
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To: blam

A mare and a donkey can produce a "Kick Ass" flu treatment!


9 posted on 03/28/2006 11:42:28 AM PST by Young Werther
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To: blam

Oh... For a moment there I thought I might be immune to bird flu because I'm allergic to horses (i.e., my immune system produces horse antibodies). Mother Nature, you cruel b***h!


10 posted on 03/28/2006 11:52:04 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: blam

And they'll call it the "Pegasus" vaccine.


11 posted on 03/28/2006 11:52:22 AM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: blam

I want to be sure I've got this straight...

Give the bird an aspirin for the flu,
Tell jokes to the cow so she doesn't get mad, and then
Help the horse meditate so it can have an antibody experience.

But what do I do with the mouse? Shoot it?

I'm so confused....

Pinz


12 posted on 03/28/2006 12:04:23 PM PST by pinz-n-needlez
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To: theFIRMbss
Horses have it rough!
One group of doctors collects
their urine to make

birth control pills, now
a second group of doctors
wants to take their blood . . .

Premarin is not
a birth control pill.
It's an anti-menopause
drug.

Is your screen
two inches wide
or what?

13 posted on 03/28/2006 12:12:14 PM PST by HairOfTheDog (Hobbit Hole knives for soldiers! www.freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net)
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To: HairOfTheDog
>Premarin is not a birth control pill. It's an anti-menopause drug. Is your screen two inches wide or what?

That's a fair quibble,
but it doesn't really change
my post's joke, doe it?

(Hey! I type these things
on Mischa's watch while she is
resting between takes!)

14 posted on 03/28/2006 1:51:07 PM PST by theFIRMbss
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