Researchers find long-lived immunity to 1918 pandemic virus

first_img “The B cells have been waiting for at least 60 years—if not 90 years—for that flu to come around again,” he said. “That’s amazing, because it’s the longest memory anyone’s ever demonstrated.” Determine if the survivors still had antibodies to the virus Aug 17 Vanderbilt University Medical Center press release The group collected blood samples from 32 pandemic survivors aged 91 to 101. The multipronged study had four components, to: The findings appeared online Aug 17 in Nature. Study collaborators hail from several institutions: Vanderbilt University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Scripps Research Institute. Aug 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A study of the blood of older people who survived the 1918 influenza pandemic reveals that antibodies to the strain have lasted a lifetime and can perhaps be engineered to protect future generations against similar strains. See if the B cells—the ones that produce the antibodies—could be cultured and produce antibodies to a 1918 virus protein Evaluate if the antibodies could protect mice infected with the 1918 influenza virus Dr Tshidi Tsibane, a study author and postdoctoral fellow in Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s microbiology department, said in a press release from Mount Sinai that though there is no need for a new treatment for 1918 influenza virus infections, the results are still useful. The investigators generated B lymphoblastic cell lines from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of eight subjects. Transformed cells from the blood of 7 of the 8 donors yielded secreting antibodies that bound the 1918 hemagglutinin. From the B cells of three donors, the research group generated five monoclonal antibodies that not only strongly neutralized the 1918 virus, but also cross-reacted with proteins related to the 1930 swine flu virus. However, the antibodies did not react against more contemporary influenza strains. Author James E. Crowe, Jr, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt Program in Vaccine Sciences, said in a press release from Vanderbilt that the researchers were surprised by the findings.center_img Attempt fusing cells having the highest levels of activity with myeloma cells to create a hybrid cell line that secretes monoclonal antibodies The people recruited for the study were 2 to 12 years old in 1918 and many recalled sick family members in their households, which suggests they were directly exposed to the virus, the authors report. The group found that 100% of the subjects had serum-neutralizing activity against the 1918 virus and 94% showed serologic reactivity to the 1918 hemagglutinin. Xiaocong Y, Tsibane T, McGraw P, et al. Neutralizing antibodies derived from the B cells of 1918 influenza pandemic survivors. Nature 2008 (published online Aug 17) [Abstract] Aug 17 Mount Sinai School of Medicine press release Inspiration for the study came from an unlikely source, an episode of an old medical television show that portrayed a town protecting itself from the 1918 virus outbreak by using blood from an elderly survivor, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. The storyline prompted Eric Altschuler, MD, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UMDND to ask the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a grant to test people over age 90 for the 1918 flu antibodies, according to the AP report. The NIH funded much of the study and enlisted the expertise of other experts. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recent studies have projected that immunity lasts several decades; the current study provides proof, the AP reported. “This is the mother of all immunological memory here,” he told the AP. The authors point out that it is difficult to be certain that the monoclonal antibodies they isolated were first stimulated during the 1918 influenza pandemic. However, they write that the subjects’ clinical histories and the high affinity of the monoclonal antibodies for the 1918 strain “strongly suggest that recent exposures do not account for this immunity.” They add that exposure to similar viruses circulating during first part of the 20th century probably bolstered the subjects’ B cell function. “These findings could serve as potential therapy for another 1918-like virus,” said Dr Tsibane in the statement. In the final arm of the study, the researchers infected mice with the reconstructed 1918 virus and the next day tested the five monoclonal antibodies at various doses to see if the therapy protected the animals. The mice receiving the lowest dose of the 1918 monoclonal antibody died, as did the ones receiving the control antibody. All given the highest antibody doses survived. See also:last_img read more

“No need to panic”

first_imgJamaicans travelling to the US should breathe easy – Jamaican Consul GeneralBY Garth A. RoseFranz Hall, Jamaican Consul General to the South Eastern USA, and based in Miami, says information gathered by the consulate offices in Miami, there is no basis for panic by Jamaicans traveling to the US.Since the Trump administration signed an immigration executive order banning migrants from several mainly Muslim countries, and began enforcing existing immigration laws there have been rumors of increasing numbers of Jamaicans denied entry at US airports.A recent report from Jamaica indicated that Hall in an interview broadcast on a Jamaican radio station said he was concerned a number of Jamaicans who arrived at the Hobby International Airport in Houston, Texas, were denied entry to the US, and had their visas cancelled.Hall…no need to panicIn an interview with National Weekly Hall said he cannot speak to, or verify information that implies several Jamaicans have been denied entry into the US at the nation’s airports, or had their US visa cancelled. He said it was however, a fact that at the Hobby International Airport in Houston, three Jamaicans were recently denied entry. This included a woman who was denied entry subsequent to her cell-phone being searched by US immigration officers.“When the incidences of Jamaicans being denied entry into the US increases from zero to three within weeks at the same airport, that is something that we need to look into,” Hall said.He said the Jamaican Consulate research has not revealed incidents of wide scale denial of Jamaicans entering US ports. Hall cited, that this research indicated more Jamaicans were denied entry into the US during the corresponding January to March period in 2016, than were denied entry since the Trump administration assumed office. He also cited that more Jamaicans were deported during February to March 2016, than the corresponding period this year. “I don’t think there is a situation that exists that warrants panic among people coming to the US from Jamaica, although incidents like those that occurred Houston’s Hobby airport where Jamaicans can fly into directly from Jamaica warrants  looking into.”Hall also said the Consulates research supported information National Weekly sourced from immigration officers at both the Miami and Fort Lauderdale International Airports that in cases where Jamaicans have been denied entry it is usually related to problems with their landing documentation, prior legal problems, not directly related to any recent US immigration policy.On the Jamaican radio program, “Both Sides of the Story’, which is aired on Power 106 FM, Hall said although Jamaican authorities are concerned about the incidents at the Houston airport, he conceded immigration officials in any foreign country have the right to determine who they allow into that country. He also said Jamaica has a responsibility to ensure that its citizens are treated fairly when they travel abroad.last_img read more