Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study links 1976 'swine flu' shot to stronger immune response to 21st century pandemic flu

26.04.2010
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital staff helps investigators gauge the lingering impact of the 1976 vaccine

New evidence shows immunization against "swine flu" in 1976 might provide individuals with some protection against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, according to new research from St. Jude investigators.

Researchers found that individuals who reported receiving the 1976 vaccine mounted an enhanced immune response against both the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus and a different H1N1 flu strain that circulated during the 2008-09 flu season. The work appears in the April 23 online issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

"Our research shows that while immunity among those vaccinated in 1976 has waned somewhat, they mounted a much stronger immune response against the current pandemic H1N1 strain than others who did not receive the 1976 vaccine," said Jonathan A. McCullers, M.D., an associate member of the St. Jude Infectious Diseases Department and the study's lead author.

McCullers said it is unclear if the response was enough to protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus, but the study points to a lingering benefit. The findings also raise hope that those vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain might also enjoy a similar long-term advantage.

The study is the first to focus on whether those vaccinated against the 1976 H1N1 strain made antibodies against the 2009 pandemic flu, including antibodies that could block the virus from infecting cells. This research follows an earlier study from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reported blood taken from volunteers shortly after they were vaccinated in 1976 and stored for decades also showed a strong immune response to the 2009 pandemic virus. Investigators noted the results might not reflect the immune response those same volunteers would mount today.

The latest effort involved 116 St. Jude employees and spouses age 55 and older. The group included 46 vaccinated in 1976 against the H1N1 flu virus, known as A/New Jersey/76, which sickened more than 200 military recruits in New Jersey. That outbreak triggered fears of a flu pandemic and led to a massive government effort to quickly produce and distribute a vaccine.

The current study was conducted in August 2009 before a vaccine was available against the pandemic H1N1 flu strain and before the virus was circulating widely in the Memphis, Tenn., metropolitan area, where study volunteers lived.

Researchers reported that nearly 90 percent of volunteers made antibodies able to recognize a key protein on the surface of both the 2009 pandemic and the 2008-09 H1N1 flu strains. Those antibodies were present in numbers large enough to meet one federal gauge of vaccine effectiveness.

Nineteen percent of volunteers also produced antibodies that neutralized the 2009 pandemic strain and blocked it from infecting cells. In comparison, more than 67 percent of volunteers had antibodies that neutralized the 2008-09 seasonal H1N1 strain.

Those vaccinated in 1976 were more likely to make neutralizing antibodies against the new pandemic strain. More than 17 percent of the 1976-vaccine group made such antibodies in large quantities. Only about 4 percent of those who had not received the 1976 shot had comparable levels of antibody production. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant, meaning it was unlikely chance alone explained the result.

The work reflects ongoing efforts to understand why the current pandemic flu has taken a greater toll on children and young adults than on those ages 65 and older. In this study, researchers focused on older individuals to better gauge the impact of the 1976 "swine flu" shot or possible childhood exposure to flu viruses similar to the current pandemic strain. McCullers said those viruses last circulated in the 1930s and 1940s.

The unexpectedly robust immune response mounted by all the volunteers suggests that routine vaccination against seasonal flu might confer a broader-than- realized protection, McCullers said. The St. Jude volunteers included many health care workers who are vaccinated annually against flu.

Other St. Jude authors are Lee-Ann Van De Velde, Kim Allison, Kristen Branum, Richard Webby and Patricia Flynn, all of Infectious Diseases.

The work was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and ALSAC.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Ranked the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital by Parents magazine, St. Jude is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world. St. Jude has developed research protocols that helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened to almost 80 percent today. St. Jude is the national coordinating center for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. In addition to pediatric cancer research, St. Jude is also a leader in sickle cell disease research and is a globally prominent research center for influenza.

Founded in 1962 by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world, publishing more research articles than any other pediatric cancer research center in the United States. St. Jude treats more than 5,400 patients each year and is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. St. Jude is financially supported by thousands of individual donors, organizations and corporations without which the hospital's work would not be possible. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. For more information, go to www.stjude.org.

Summer Freeman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stjude.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>