May 1, 2008

Quicker way to make Antibodies

Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have developed a new, faster way to create human monoclonal antibodies against infectious disease by tapping the immune system at the peak of its powers. They generated the antibodies against influenza virus.

To make human antibodies against influenza, the researchers isolated antibody-secreting cells (plasma cells) from volunteers' blood a week after vaccination and cloned the antibody genes from these antibody-secreting cells.

"This method could find broad application towards almost any infectious disease," says Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

For example, doctors could quickly generate human antibodies against a pandemic flu strain as a stop-gap therapy or to protect people from infection.


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