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Horse antibodies could habour bird flu cure
March 28, 2006 17:41 IST
This research may offer some consolation at a time when the bird flu virus and its mutations pose a great threat to humans as well as poultry. Antibodies against the bird flu virus H5N1, derived from horses, prevent mice infected with the virus from dying.
A study published Tuesday in the open access journal Respiratory Research reveals that a certain dose of horse anti-serum effectively protects infected mice.
These results suggest that anti-H5N1 antibodies developed in horses could potentially be used to prevent death from H5N1 influenza, or as early treatment for the disease, in humans.
Jiahai Lu from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues from other institutions in China infected dog kidney cells in vitro with a lethal dose of H5N1 and simultaneously exposed the cells to horse antibodies against H5N1.
Lu's results show that horse antibodies to H5N1 protected cells against H5N1 in vitro -- the cells simultaneously infected with H5N1 and exposed to horse antibodies did not die.