Success with anti-bodies for the bird flu pandemic?

The National Institute of Health announced that there has been some success synthesizing a vaccine from anti-bodies of those who were infected with the bird flu and survived.

Four Vietnamese who came down with H5N1 agreed to donate some of their blood when they recovered. Using this blood, scientists have been able to formulate an effective method of treating the bird flu in mice.The actual group that did the work was the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). They were able to protect mice from a dose of bird flu that would normally kill them.

Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci commented:

If the success of this initial study is confirmed through further laboratory and clinical trials, human monoclonal antibodies could prove to be valuable therapeutic and prophylactic public health interventions for pandemic influenza.


As we all know, what works in mice doesn’t always work in humans. It’s interesting to note, though, that this study is the first time an antibody has proven to be so adroit at working.

The reason for this might be the passive immunotherapy approach they took. Passive immunotherapy is sort of a shotgun approach to immunology. You don’t give your body time to fight the virus on its own, but you flood it with another source of antibodies.