Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is one of the most important
emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. It causes high morbidity and
mortality in communities (epidemic) and worldwide (pandemic). Children
under 1 year old, elderly people over 65 years, people with comorbid illness
health problems, immuno-compromised patients, pregnant women, and certain
ethnic groups are at highest risk. The type A viruses are the most virulent
human pathogens among the three influenza types (A, B, C) and cause the
most severe disease. Among different serotypes of type A influenza viruses,
four serotypes H1N1, H2N2, H3N2 and H5N1 were responsible for influenza
pandemics globally. Annual vaccination and anti-influenza drugs are the
most important preventive and therapeutic measures, respectively, but their
effects are limited due to the change of serotypes and poor applicability
to a high-risk patients as well as the appearance of drug resistant strains.
Recent research works (see below quotations) have reported that IgY protects mice from infection with various influenza serotypes.
These research works open the way for using IgY for prevention and treatment of influenza infections in human.
IRIG staff are now working on applying IgY into various product forms including tablets, gums, spray,
etc that may help reduce risks of catching influenza in human.
1. Wallach MG et al. Cross-Protection of Chicken Immunoglobulin Y Antibodies against H5N1 and H1N1 Viruses Passively Administered in Mice. CLINICAL AND VACCINE IMMUNOLOGY, July 2011, p. 1083–1090.
2. Nguyen HH et al. Prophylactic and Therapeutic Efficacy of Avian Antibodies Against Influenza Virus H5N1 and H1N1 in Mice. PLOS ONE, April 2010, p. 1-14.
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