Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Studies on resistance against influenza

12.04.2012
There is a connection between age and susceptibility to the influenza virus. It can't be explained by frailty in general, because it is not obvious that very small children and the very old are the biggest risk groups.
In a study of the connection between age and the risk of suffering from the flu, Timpka and his colleagues show that the 2009 swine flu affected age groups 10-19 and 20-29 the worst.

They studied how five different influenza epidemics struck in Östergötland County of East Sweden between 2005 and 2010. Except for the swine flu, they were all what are known as seasonal flu. The difference in those taken sick among age groups varies up to ten times in certain cases, they state, for example, with swine flu. 2.3 cases per thousand inhabitants were diagnosed in the 10-19 age group, compared with 0.2 cases per thousand in the 70 and older age group. This was before they were able to start up the vaccinations.

For all five outbreaks, the risk of falling ill was greatest in the 30-39 age group, and least for those aged 70 and over. The researchers, however, point out that this data should be interpreted carefully, since many of the elderly are regularly vaccinated against seasonal influenza. On the other hand, their study does not support the hypothesis that school children are a bigger risk group in general.

However, Timpka says, it's clear that the risk of being infected by the flu is equally great in various age groups, and he wants to study theories as to why:

"One hypothesis is that the first influenza infection you get in your life affects your immune system. This means that your immune system learns to react to one category of influenza, but has a poorer defence against other types. This is one of the theories we want to study."

Which type of flu you suffer from as a child should thus be able to affect your immune system for the rest of your life.

The body has two types of defences against infections, Timpka explains. On the one hand antibodies, which are formed as a response to an infection and then remain, make us less susceptible to an infection of that type. Antibodies thus cannot help up the first time we suffer from an infection. However the second defence type, T-cells, can; they're released immediately once the body is infected and they kill off the virus.

"Very small children have their mother's antibodies. The most vulnerable group is children between the ages of one and three; they still lack their own antibodies. As a rule, they develop them in some form later."

With the help of the unique ABIS register (Alla Barn i Sydöstra Sverige, All Children in South-east Sweden), Timpka and his colleagues want to study which antibodies against various types of influenza are found in children. In ABIS, there are blood tests from most of the children born in the region between October 1997 and October 1999, a total of over 17,000 children. The researchers want to follow a selection of these children up to the age of 16, that is, through 2015 at the latest. They hope to see the first results in 2013.

"Today we know very little about immunity in children against influenza and flu-like illnesses. This is knowledge that's necessary, especially to better plan future vaccination programmes," Timpka says.

As he points out in his project description, the dearth of knowledge is painfully obvious in the wake of the 2009 mass vaccinations and the cases of narcolepsy it gave rise to.

Article:

Age as a Determinant for Dissemination of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza: An Open Cohort Study of Influenza Outbreaks in Östergötland County, Sweden by Timpka T, Eriksson O, Spreco A, Gursky EA, Strömgren M, et al. (2012) PLoS ONE 7(2): February 23, 2012

Anika Agebjörn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.liu.se

Further reports about: ABIS Influenza blood test immune system

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

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

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>