The H5N1 influenza has proven extraordinarily deadly. More than 50 percent of the 500 cases that have been documented since the virus first emerged in 1997 have been fatal. Thus, H5N1 is viewed as a serious threat to world public health. A major difficulty in developing antibodies to combat this virus is that ten different antigenic types have evolved since the virus first emerged. But now a team of researchers has produced a so-called cross-reactive antibody that can bind to nine of the ten H5N1 groups. They showed further that it could protect mice from infection, and that it could be used to treat established infections in the mice. The research is published in the March Journal of Virology.
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Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology - March 2012 (http://www.asm.org/index.php/news-room/journal-tipsheets.html)