Study: If you had swine flu, you now have super immunity

Monday, January 24, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: swine flu, super immunity, health news

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(NaturalNews) U.K. researchers have made an interesting discovery concerning swine flu. According to their report, which was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, people who have had the H1N1 influenza virus and recovered now have a type of "super immunity" that is able to fend off many different flu viruses, they say.

Dr. Patrick Wilson and his team, composed of researchers from Emory University, Harvard University, Columbia University, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), observed a group of nine patients that had developed swine flu during the 2009 pandemic to see how their bodies responded to the infection. They also noticed that, contrary to what occurs following the contraction of normal seasonal flu strains, swine flu patients generated a host of powerful antibodies capable of fighting off many other forms of flu.

"The surprise was that such a very different influenza strain, as opposed to the most common strains, could lead us to something so widely applicable," explained the report, which focused on developing a way to create a "universal" flu vaccine from these antibodies.

Researchers also observed that these powerful antibodies attached themselves to the surface of the virus through a "stem-like region," which they say varies little among flu strains. For this reason, scientists suspect that the unique antibodies can help protect the body from many different forms of flu.

The team is planing to conduct a follow-up study on people who were vaccinated against swine flu but did not get sick to see if they inherited the same boosted immunity. However, it is unclear from the report whether or not the recent study patients had been vaccinated against swine flu prior to contracting the illness.

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