2009 H1N1 vaccine protects against 1918 influenza virus

Jun 15, 2010

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have determined people who were vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus may also be protected against the lethal 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide. The new findings are published in the current issue of Nature Communications.

"While the reconstruction of the formerly extinct Spanish virus was important in helping study other pandemic viruses, it raised some concerns about an accidental lab release or its use as a bioterrorist agent," said Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, Professor, Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, lead investigator on the study. "Our research shows that the 2009 H1N1 influenza protects against the Spanish , an important breakthrough in preventing another devastating like 1918." Other Mount Sinai School of Medicine groups involved in the study include the laboratories of Dr. Palese and Dr. Basler. The study was also done in collaboration with the group of Dr. Belshe, at St. Louis University, who provided the human vaccination samples.

The researchers administered to three groups of mice either the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, the seasonal influenza vaccine, or no vaccine at all. Twenty-one days later, the mice were exposed to a lethal dose of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus. The mice receiving the H1N1 vaccine were the only ones to survive, while also exhibiting limited morbidity following the vaccination.

Additionally, Dr. Garcia-Sastre's team injected the mice with blood serum taken from humans who had been vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 influenza. Later, the mice were given a potent dose of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus. Researchers found that the antibodies in the blood produced by the 2009 H1N1 vaccine may also protect against the 1918 Spanish influenza virus.

"Considering the millions of people who have already been vaccinated against 2009 H1N1 influenza, cross-protection against the 1918 influenza virus may be widespread. Our research indicates that people who were exposed to the virus may also be protected," said Dr. Garcia-Sastre. "We look forward to conducting further research on the benefits of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in protecting against the deadly 1918 Spanish influenza virus."

Explore further: A multiscale approach to Ebola response

Provided by The Mount Sinai Hospital

4.8 /5 (5 votes)

Related Stories

Bird flu vaccine protects people and pets

Oct 20, 2008

A single vaccine could be used to protect chickens, cats and humans against deadly flu pandemics, according to an article published in the November issue of the Journal of General Virology. The vaccine protects birds and ma ...

Researchers move closer to a universal influenza vaccine

May 25, 2010

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new influenza vaccine that brings science one step closer to a universal influenza vaccine that would eliminate the need for seasonal flu shots. The new findings ...

1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds

Jan 19, 2010

The two strains of the H1N1 influenza virus responsible for the 1918 and 2009 global flu pandemics do not cause disease in birds. The results of the study, published in the February issue of the Journal of General Virology, also s ...

Recommended for you

A multiscale approach to Ebola response

18 minutes ago

The Ebola outbreak in western Africa continues to spread uncontrolled, affecting thus far five countries. On September 16th, President Obama spoke at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters ...

Overwhelmed west Africa ramps up Ebola response

14 hours ago

West Africa intensified its response to the deadly Ebola epidemic on Sunday, with Sierra Leone uncovering scores of dead bodies during a 72-hour shutdown and Liberia announcing hundreds of new hospital beds.

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

18 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mysticshakra
not rated yet Jun 16, 2010
Would this be the same flu that was extinct until scientists though it would be cute to bring it back to life?