Pirbright antibody test to treat influenza shows positive signs

Studies undertaken at The Pirbright Institute, in collaboration with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, have shown that a human antibody (2-12C) can provide pigs protection against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain of human influenza.

The finding indicates that the antibody could also be effective at treating human influenza infections, demonstrating that the pig is an excellent model for assessing antibody therapies.

The new research, published in the Journal of Immunology, established that the 2-12C human antibody can neutralise the H1N1 2009 flu pandemic virus in pigs, thereby providing protection. Both the amount of virus and signs of infection in the lungs were reduced in the pigs that received the treatment.

The success of this antibody and delivery platform in the pig model indicates that these treatments could potentially also work in humans.

Dr Elma Tchilian, head of the Mucosal Immunology Group at Pirbright, said: “We are very excited that the pig model is useful for testing and refining antibody treatments for life threatening influenza infections. I hope that research into many other infectious diseases will also benefit from this model.”

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