Breakthrough research fights flu


Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 11:15 pm
By: News 9


By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

Local researchers are finding a new way to better protect you against the flu.

Researchers said about 20,000 Americans die from influenza each year, and a reason this technology is so important and it works without doing any harm to the body.

Just one of the reasons researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation are pushing for new treatment is for the past two years, a team of researchers have found a method to pinpoint and clone human antibodies to specifically combat infections.

Last year, fighting the drug resistant influenza was a battle many were not ready to fight.

Now, generated antibodies are created by using monoclonal antibodies, or lab produced antibodies, taken from a single line of cells.

"The power of this is the efficiency that seven out of 10 of what we produce are binding, so the chances of us finding really useful antibodies, in doing this very quickly, is much greater," Dr. Patrick Wilson with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation said.

The new process can quickly and effectively create new treatments for those fighting the flu.

"This would be a potential way to quickly generate a drug that can clear and help treat people and provide passive immunity to the susceptible population for healthcare workers and things like that," Wilson said.

While the research is focused on fighting the flu, it can create treatments for smallpox or anthrax and potentially protect against future infection.