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New compound protects 100 percent of ferrets, mice, from H5N1

Since 2003, the , more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate for the latter. Luckily, this virus has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but a small number of mutations could change that, resulting in a pandemic. Now a team of investigators from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, , and MacroGenics have developed an antibody which has proven protective against the virus in two species of animal models. The research is published ahead of print February 11, in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Avian Influenza A H5N1 Viruses
This is a colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses.
Credit: Wikipedia


American Society for Microbiology