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Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 08, 2023  6 months, 1 week, 6 days, 12 hours, 8 minutes ago

Influenza News: Study Unlocks The Potential Of Antibody-Based Therapies In The Battle Against Influenza B

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Influenza News: Study Unlocks The Potential Of Antibody-Based Therapies In The Battle Against Influenza B
Thailand Medical News Team  Aug 08, 2023  6 months, 1 week, 6 days, 12 hours, 8 minutes ago
Influenza News: As the onset of another flu season looms, scientists have intensified their efforts to discover innovative strategies for combatting this ever-persistent adversary. One promising avenue that has emerged is the utilization of antibody-based therapies, revealing a potential breakthrough in the fight against influenza B.

Dr Hillary Vanderven, a distinguished expert in immunology and infectious diseases from James Cook University's Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, spearheaded a recent study, shedding light on the power of antibody-based treatments against severe respiratory infections.
Antibody-based therapies represent a crucial frontier in the realm of respiratory viruses, particularly due to their capacity to be both safe and effective in treating severe respiratory infections, especially in high-risk groups. Dr Vanderven told Influenza News reporters from TMN, "Antibodies, the proteins crafted by our immune systems, exhibit the remarkable ability to target specific molecules on harmful pathogens, making them potent agents in our fight against infectious diseases."
The culmination of years of research and clinical trials has led to a pivotal breakthrough. A clinical trial centered around the innovative hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin (Flu-IVIG) presented a beacon of hope in the pursuit of effective antibody-based treatments.
This new approach employed purified antibodies harvested from individuals who had either been vaccinated against or had triumphed over the flu. A cohort of 308 hospitalized patients, all grappling with severe cases of influenza A or B, became the subjects of this compelling endeavor.
The results were astounding - the Flu-IVIG therapy displayed a marked improvement in patient outcomes for those battling influenza B, while regrettably showing no discernible benefit for influenza A.
However, the enigma remained: Why did the Flu-IVIG therapy exhibit a favorable response in the context of influenza B, while remaining indifferent to influenza A?
Dr Vanderven and her team embarked on an in-depth exploration, examining various types of antibodies in a bid to unravel the underlying mechanisms. Their findings unveiled a pivotal revelation - specific types of influenza antibodies, those with the power to annihilate infected cells, emerged as instrumental factors in combating severe influenza B infections.
Remarkably, the same antibodies appeared to be less effective in warding off the perils of influenza A.
Dr Vanderven underscores the urgency of this research, stating, "The need for antibody-based treatments targeting respiratory viruses has never been more pressing. With the coexistence of influenza, COVID-19, and RSV in our communities, the demand for an expanded arsenal of antiviral therapies to mitigate severe respiratory infections has reached unprecedented heights."
Delving deeper, the research delves into the nuanced landscape of antibody characteristics and functions. The investigation revealed the intricate dance between different types of antibodies and their engagement with Fcγ receptors, specialized molecules present on immune cells. This interaction, dubbed Fc-mediated effector functions, proved to be a pivotal determinant in the battle against severe influenza. In the context of influenza B, the immune response seems to be fortified by antibodies that engage in Fc-mediated functions, thereby aiding in the elimination of infected cells and the subsequent containment of the virus.
Yet, the tale takes an intriguing twist when it comes to influenza A. Higher levels of certain Fc-functional antibodies, despite their potential protective role in other instances, appeared to contribute to poorer clinical outcomes. This apparent paradox speaks to the complex interplay between immune responses and inflammation. The delicate equilibrium between protective immune functions and immunopathology can tilt in unpredictable directions, with high levels of Fc-functional antibodies possibly exacerbating inflammation and lung damage in the case of severe influenza A.
The study's significance extends beyond the confines of the laboratory, carrying profound implications for the future of influenza treatment. Dr Vanderven's pioneering research offers a roadmap for the development of more refined and effective antibody-based therapies. These insights into the intricate mechanisms of humoral immunity lay the foundation for innovative treatments that can mitigate the health burdens imposed by severe influenza.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: JCI Insight.
For the latest Influenza News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News


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