1918 Flu Antibodies Alive and Well

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2005
1918 Flu Antibodies Alive and Well
Tue, 08-19-2008 - 8:24am

Some people never forget a face. Others never forget a flu. Even if they were infected more than 90 years ago. A team of American scientists studied 32 people who survived the 1918 flu epidemic. That virus, also called the Spanish flu, killed an estimated 20 to 100 million people worldwide.

Of course many more survived, and some are still around today. The scientists tracked them down and took a small sample of their blood. And they found that all 32 people they tested still had circulating antibodies that could recognize the 1918 flu strain. What’s even more remarkable is that these immune molecules still work. Injecting the antibodies into mice protected the animals from experimental infection with the virus. The results were published online in the journal Nature on August 13th.

The scientists say that these elder antibodies could guide the way to new therapies to ward off flu should a virus similar to the 1918 strain arise. In the meantime, I guess you can be thankful that as your joints grow creaky and your vision fades, at least your immune system stays on its feet.



I find that amazing, natural immunity at work for more than 90 years!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Tue, 08-19-2008 - 11:31am

I'm trying to see it for the amazing thing it is, but the skeptic in me just wonders what sort of twisted experiment

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2005
Tue, 08-19-2008 - 11:37am
Ditto - I am trying not to focus on that ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2005
Thu, 08-21-2008 - 4:34pm

What the heck kind of "new therapies" are they talking about?!