flu pandemic in early 1900s - - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
First ... 3  4  5 6 
Vaccinations > flu pandemic in early 1900s -
rareimer's Avatar rareimer 04:34 AM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
I look at it slightly differently. The cytokine storm is not the reason why the 1918 virus killed so many young healthy people, it is how the virus killed them.

The cytokine storm theory explains the mechanism by which a young, healthy person died from flu. IMO it's more important to know why the 1918 virus evolved a mechanism that targeted this healthy cohort of people. It doesn't happen in other flu outbreaks. As it turns out the 1918 strain is uniquely historical. Viruses normally evolve toward mild virulence because it is a successful survival strategy. The 1918 strain evolved with out constraint in stagnant herds of humans where there was a constant influx of susceptible hosts. The virus was adapted to the immune systems in which it evolved. The 1918 strain was a product of its day and it is inappropriate to cite that pandemic as a reason to vaccinate today. If bird flu comes our way, it will have its worst effects in the very old and the very young, just like all other flu outbreaks.

The 1918 pandemic is an inappropriate comparison to use as a scare tactic for flu vaccination because of other reasons, too. Soldiers returning home 'seeded' communities causing outbreaks to occur globally almost simultaneously. This was also a uniquely historical characteristic of the pandemic making it inadequate for comparing to what might happen today.

Having pointed out how IMO the 1918 strain was worse than most flu strains, I would like to now throw dirt on the idea that it even matters. Compared to other flu epidemics, the mortality from the 1918 strain was above average but was still pretty low (2.5%). It killed one person for every 40 people it infected. Now the primary cause of death in that one person was indeed flu disease, but the reason that particular person died while the other 39 lived has nothing to do with the virus. The virus is an automaton: it runs the same exact program in everyone it infects. So when you see 40 people get infected and only one dies, you don't ask the virus what it did differently in that person - it did nothing different. You ask what was different about that one person that caused him to succumb to death when these other 39 people came through the infection fine. That condition is social and includes everything that might impact that person's immune system. So the condition of the population at the time (which had just suffered a world war) contributes greatly to the mortality of the outbreak. Poor nutrition, inept medical care of the day, stress and grief, all these things were important factors in the severity of the outbreak. That 2.5% mortality of the 1918 strain reflects to some significant extent the health condition of the population it infected at the time.

Some flu strains are worse than others and applying them to the same population you'll see which ones are worse. But if you applied a killer virus to different populations, you'd see that the healthier populations are least affected. The most important determinant on the mortality of influenza epidemics is the health of the population the virus is infecting. That's not just my opinion. The WHO agrees with me. So when bird flu comes, is it best to focus your defense on the virus, or on yourself and your health?
i think that's one of the best explanations i've heard. thank you!
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 04:43 AM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
Somewhat counterintuitively, I've been instructed to increase my fat intake (has to do with CO2 ratios from metabolizing different foods; carbs are worst; mucho CO2) as well as my overall caloric intake (the muscles used in breathing work harder, even at rest, and require fuel; weight loss is often a problem with poorly-managed COPD).
You sound busy, but it might be worth it to you to check out the Traditional Foods forum. Fat is healthy, carbs not so much. Even saturated fat can be a wonderful thing, depending on where you get it. Have you tried unrefined coconut oil? It tastes wonderful - I spread it on toast. Oh, and baked yams. Yum! Lots of lauric acid, a great antimicrobial, which I'm sure would be helpful in your situation. You have to get a high quality, unrefined coconut oil, though. (I use Spectrum.) The cheaper ones don't have any flavor.
Momtezuma Tuatara's Avatar Momtezuma Tuatara 06:51 AM 09-10-2006
It's important to get it right Dymanic, and if that means you consult your immunology text, go to it.

It's important to read correctly too, as in here....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymanic
Oh, echinacea. Yeah, I take that sometimes. I don't actually think it does any good, but it was given to me by someone who loves me, so I take it to sort of honor that. Who knows?
No Dymanic, not echinacea. The URL I gave you was specifically for Gypsy cold care.

http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/?id=28&pid=4

Why did you think it was Echinacea? Did you just assume? You are not paying attention, are you? : Click on the ingredients tab and you will find:

Quote:
Organic elder flower 350 mg, yarrow flower 350 mg, organic peppermint leaf 350 mg, organic hyssop herb 140 mg. Proprietary blend: organic rose hip, organic cinnamon bark, organic ginger rhizome, safflower petal, organic clove flower bud, licorice root dry aqueous extract.
Not echincea, though you can drink that if you want.

Gypsy cold care is very cooling and soothing in terms of breathing.

You will only disagree with most of us about most things if that is your default setting in your brain and you aren't about to change it. There is a lot here you can learn about, but the key to learning successfully is flexibility.

I keep my mouth shut, and eyes open on something I don't know the facts on. That way I don't have to commit myself to a position and feel I must defend it, especially when had I said it, it would become patently obvious to everyone else that that position is wrong. Not a good place to be.

So unless I've been there, or have the text in front of me in black and white, in terms of concept, I keep quiet if I don't know it. That doesn't mean I can't ask questions, or give my experiences on related topics.

So I suggest first thing is you sort out your immunology with Insider, because having a false foundation isn't a good idea, because that false foundation affects the whole of the rest of the building you lay on top of it.

Quote:
I have discussed virology with virologists before, but most of the folks I find myself wanting to talk to about it aren't virologists.
Why? Insider is THE expert. You won't get better. So listen up, huh?!!! And there are at least three others here who have a pretty good grasp on how the immune system works.

Quote:
Whenever I've caught myself basically parroting phraseology I gleaned from some book, it was because I was pushing the envelope of my own knowledge.
Is that an explanation to how you got it wrong about antibodies?

Quote:
It IS important to consider sources. It's VERY important. But I've seen discussions that seemed to consist of little more than tossing links back and forth. It's not just about data, it's also about interpretations of data. To me, terms are less important than the concepts they represent, and a familiarity with the former does not guarantee a grasp of the latter. All agreed?
Well, I'm not quite sure what you are going on about. In the matter in dispute (antibodies), you were asked to consult an immunology text book.

In terms of concepts and terms, that's logical, but I'm not quite sure where that comes in to your thinking, or how in this instance, or whether it was an emorphous pondering.

Quote:
I'm prepared to defend my position, but if I'm going to find the time, I guess I'll have to start blowing off the chitchat, because every time I try popping in, I see so much stuff I'd like to respond to that I don't get anywhere near it. I have been enjoying the talk, though.
It's not an issue of defending a position. It's an issue of getting a basic fact correct, and that should take no time at all.

Quote:
I hope you will judge me on my conduct here rather than on the conduct of some others elsewhere which you find offensive -- and which, if you are really interested enough to research, I think you'll find that I don't participate much in,..
1,638 responses over four years is reasonable. Shows me you like it enough.

But hey, you are on. You're new, and if you view this as an intiative shake-up to see what sort of backbone you have, then so far, you're not doing so bad

You aren't being judged, but we are being careful, because some of your mates over there have come here and treated us like crud. Mind you, I have to admit that they have been likewise roasted once we realised they were purely here for the skirmish.

You will find people here really helpful, and they will enjoy it, if you want to contribute, teach us a thing or two and learn and be flexible. People just don't like being strong-armed or talked down to. Okay?
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 11:08 AM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
I look at it slightly differently. The cytokine storm is not the reason why the 1918 virus killed so many young healthy people, it is how the virus killed them.

The cytokine storm theory explains the mechanism by which a young, healthy person died from flu. IMO it's more important to know why the 1918 virus evolved a mechanism that targeted this healthy cohort of people. It doesn't happen in other flu outbreaks. As it turns out the 1918 strain is uniquely historical. Viruses normally evolve toward mild virulence because it is a successful survival strategy. The 1918 strain evolved with out constraint in stagnant herds of humans where there was a constant influx of susceptible hosts. The virus was adapted to the immune systems in which it evolved. The 1918 strain was a product of its day and it is inappropriate to cite that pandemic as a reason to vaccinate today. If bird flu comes our way, it will have its worst effects in the very old and the very young, just like all other flu outbreaks.

The 1918 pandemic is an inappropriate comparison to use as a scare tactic for flu vaccination because of other reasons, too. Soldiers returning home 'seeded' communities causing outbreaks to occur globally almost simultaneously. This was also a uniquely historical characteristic of the pandemic making it inadequate for comparing to what might happen today.

Having pointed out how IMO the 1918 strain was worse than most flu strains, I would like to now throw dirt on the idea that it even matters. Compared to other flu epidemics, the mortality from the 1918 strain was above average but was still pretty low (2.5%). It killed one person for every 40 people it infected. Now the primary cause of death in that one person was indeed flu disease, but the reason that particular person died while the other 39 lived has nothing to do with the virus. The virus is an automaton: it runs the same exact program in everyone it infects. So when you see 40 people get infected and only one dies, you don't ask the virus what it did differently in that person - it did nothing different. You ask what was different about that one person that caused him to succumb to death when these other 39 people came through the infection fine. That condition is social and includes everything that might impact that person's immune system. So the condition of the population at the time (which had just suffered a world war) contributes greatly to the mortality of the outbreak. Poor nutrition, inept medical care of the day, stress and grief, all these things were important factors in the severity of the outbreak. That 2.5% mortality of the 1918 strain reflects to some significant extent the health condition of the population it infected at the time.

Some flu strains are worse than others and applying them to the same population you'll see which ones are worse. But if you applied a killer virus to different populations, you'd see that the healthier populations are least affected. The most important determinant on the mortality of influenza epidemics is the health of the population the virus is infecting. That's not just my opinion. The WHO agrees with me. So when bird flu comes, is it best to focus your defense on the virus, or on yourself and your health?

insider's Avatar insider 11:15 AM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtezuma Tuatara
Insider is THE expert.
Now MT, you know I'm going to have to disagree with that. Whether or not someone is an expert has nothing to do with whether she's right or wrong. I've noticed that people usually claim to be an expert when they don't have a better argument to make. The logic, science and empiricism should speak for itself regardless of who says it.

Besides, of all there is to know about how the body functions, 99% is still unknown. How can anyone be an expert? When people claim to be expert they're saying they are smarter than you concerning that 1% nugget. That should be insulting. I am not an expert - and I've never met one.
Scattershoot's Avatar Scattershoot 02:39 PM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
I look at it slightly differently. The cytokine storm is not the reason why the 1918 virus killed so many young healthy people, it is how the virus killed them.

The cytokine storm theory explains the mechanism by which a young, healthy person died from flu. IMO it's more important to know why the 1918 virus evolved a mechanism that targeted this healthy cohort of people. It doesn't happen in other flu outbreaks. As it turns out the 1918 strain is uniquely historical. Viruses normally evolve toward mild virulence because it is a successful survival strategy. The 1918 strain evolved with out constraint in stagnant herds of humans where there was a constant influx of susceptible hosts. The virus was adapted to the immune systems in which it evolved. The 1918 strain was a product of its day and it is inappropriate to cite that pandemic as a reason to vaccinate today. If bird flu comes our way, it will have its worst effects in the very old and the very young, just like all other flu outbreaks.

The 1918 pandemic is an inappropriate comparison to use as a scare tactic for flu vaccination because of other reasons, too. Soldiers returning home 'seeded' communities causing outbreaks to occur globally almost simultaneously. This was also a uniquely historical characteristic of the pandemic making it inadequate for comparing to what might happen today.

Having pointed out how IMO the 1918 strain was worse than most flu strains, I would like to now throw dirt on the idea that it even matters. Compared to other flu epidemics, the mortality from the 1918 strain was above average but was still pretty low (2.5%). It killed one person for every 40 people it infected. Now the primary cause of death in that one person was indeed flu disease, but the reason that particular person died while the other 39 lived has nothing to do with the virus. The virus is an automaton: it runs the same exact program in everyone it infects. So when you see 40 people get infected and only one dies, you don't ask the virus what it did differently in that person - it did nothing different. You ask what was different about that one person that caused him to succumb to death when these other 39 people came through the infection fine. That condition is social and includes everything that might impact that person's immune system. So the condition of the population at the time (which had just suffered a world war) contributes greatly to the mortality of the outbreak. Poor nutrition, inept medical care of the day, stress and grief, all these things were important factors in the severity of the outbreak. That 2.5% mortality of the 1918 strain reflects to some significant extent the health condition of the population it infected at the time.

Some flu strains are worse than others and applying them to the same population you'll see which ones are worse. But if you applied a killer virus to different populations, you'd see that the healthier populations are least affected. The most important determinant on the mortality of influenza epidemics is the health of the population the virus is infecting. That's not just my opinion. The WHO agrees with me. So when bird flu comes, is it best to focus your defense on the virus, or on yourself and your health?
Playing devil's advocate the cytokine storm theory for the 1918 "Spanish Flu" is a theory. It would explain "how" because like the so-called "bird flu" it is not the flu that kills (viral replication) but supposedly the body's response to the flu (healthier bodies supposedly have a stronger response therefore creating more potential for harm). What else could cause the body to attack itself? Could vaccines do that? It is abnormal for the body's immune system to attack itself. As stated, viruses move toward "mild virulence" because like all life forms they have an internal mechanism for survival.

Here's one example of the body attacking itself as a direct response to vaccine. Dr. Jong Wook Lee, who was made head of WHO (I personally believe the WHO is NOT looking out for the best interests of humanity) was caught being heavily involved in the HCG scandal (interesting that he was promoted to head after caught). Most those reading this know that HCG was put in the tetanus vaccine to cause the body to attack itself and prevent pregancy or create miscarriage. Depopulation plans are not a mystery.

To state as fact that the deaths were from the flu is misleading. I could state that people died in 1918 because of vaccine response and that does not make it so. Of course, the governments and medical community pushing the poisons would say it is the flu just like autism is genetic or SIDS results from the child sleeping a certain way.

Perhaps the soldiers returning home did not seed the communities but instead the communities were seeded by millions of vaccines/poisons administered to those who would come into contact with the soldiers because of fear of typhus or whatever. Maybe it was a combination. I don't pretend to know for sure and none of this should be taken as fact.

I go back to unique historical precedences and my skepticism. Anything that has to do somersaults to do what it supposedly does should be looked at with a heavy dose of scrutiny. But again it is not that unique because Gulf War Syndrome has taken the lives of thousands of young healthy men and women as their bodies attacked them. Some died suddenly but most after horrific illness (again the soldiers were used as guinea pigs as soldiers always are for vaccines and other biological experiments).

Here's another possibility. It's interesting that the so called bird flu, like SARS, attacks the respiratory system. This one may be hard for some, but look up into the afternoon sky sometime and see if any jet contrails seem to be hanging out for quite some time and spreading outward. Many may already know about this, but I suggest researching chemtrails. What we breath comes from many sources.

This damned if you do, damned if you don't cytokine storm theory (strong immune system + suffering and perhaps death, weaken the immune system through corticosteroids of whatever to avoid strong response = suffering and perhaps death) is a great theory but only one of many.
insider's Avatar insider 03:32 PM 09-10-2006
I don't see what was so 'devil's advocate' about that. I brought up the cytokine storm theory to dismiss it as an important determinant in the origination or outcome of the 1918 pandemic. If you reread my post I think maybe you'll see that you haven't disagreed with me very much at all.
dymanic's Avatar dymanic 05:03 PM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
Now MT, you know I'm going to have to disagree with that. Whether or not someone is an expert has nothing to do with whether she's right or wrong. I've noticed that people usually claim to be an expert when they don't have a better argument to make. The logic, science and empiricism should speak for itself regardless of who says it.

Besides, of all there is to know about how the body functions, 99% is still unknown. How can anyone be an expert? When people claim to be expert they're saying they are smarter than you concerning that 1% nugget. That should be insulting. I am not an expert - and I've never met one.
VERY nicely put. I think it is reasonable to expect that experience and training are at least likely to have something to do with the degree and frequency with which a person is right, but it's no guarantee. One of the things I look for in an expert is an acute awareness of limits. Not only the limits of his or her own knowledge, but the limits of all that is known, or even of all that can be known. It becomes sort of painful at some point, and though its expression can be subtle, you can sense that anguish, especially in one most desperately curious about something and most deeply involved in its exploration. Then you have "techs", who mostly just focus on what they need to know in order to solve a particular type of problem. If you challenge that knowledge, they'll balk; uncertainty is unsettling for them, and may mean extra work. It may mean extra work redoing some work they already did.

A lot of people have and currently are dedicating their lives to sorting out such complexities as cell differentiation, protein folding, the intricacies of immune response, etc., and if you add up all the instances of "our understanding of this matter is incomplete", you get "when it comes to a robust and comprehensive understanding of these processes, we have barely scratched the surface". If and when these mysteries are ever fully understood and fully integrated, nearly all of those who worked on the solutions will view the unveiling from the same vantage point from which Carl Sagan watched the feeds from the Mars rover. Of those experts past and present who are part of that, even those the most wrong or the most often wrong deserve at least a nod. For what you just said, a hearty high-five.

So now that we've seen that we can agree on at least some things, let's get back to this partial immunity thing, and see if we can agree on who's wrong, and on which points, and by how much. I'm going a little faster than I'd like to already here, and I'm not going be able to get back to this again today, and I'm not going to bother with links yet. If those who would most like to see them would specify which statements they'd most like to see cites for -- and then try to be a little patient -- I'll try to start with those. I probably am wrong somewhere here, so if you can help me find it, when I see it, I'll admit it, I promise. I can't guarantee that getting me to see it will be easy, just that I won't resist just for the sake of resisting. Actually, I guess I can't a 100% guarantee that I won't do that. But I'll try not to. Baby steps. That whole "rat-pack" thing is the behaviour I find offensive "over there". The signal-to-noise ratio makes meaningful dialogue tough when thirty people are ripping on what one person is saying (or, even worse, just on what "kind of guy" he is). So we'll all get a look at whether that's something that makes the quality of discourse so much better "over here". My expectations are high. I've been interested in this stuff for a while, and if I'm still sucking air fifteen years from now, I'll probably still be interested, and if those of you here who are interested now are still interested too, we may still be discussing it then, so we don't need to get all in a big hurry. Insider may not dispute everything I say here anyway, so I recommend deep breaths for everybody.

I'd like to back up to maybe here:
Quote:
we're not talking about lymphocyte activation. Lymphocytes are cells. The issue was over antibody-antigen interactions.
Trying to understand something as complex as immune response often does involve conceptually isolating some element or aspect. The "reductionist" approach. You wouldn't expect that it would be easy to forget that in the real world, the element under consideration does not actually exist in isolation, but it happens. Whether we were talking about it or not, lymphocyte activation cannot more casually be ignored than can any other aspect of these processes. I'll get back to this.

Quote:
And antibodies have only one specific binding epitope.
By itself, that says nothing about the affinity of the antibody for the epitope, since specificity and affinity are not the same thing. You attempt to define this functionally: it either stops the virus from binding to the cell receptor, or it doesn't. Similarly, we might measure the lengths of the teeth on a key and compare them to the tumblers in a lock, and define "good fit" by whether those lengths were within some pre-defined (and ultimately arbitrary) tolerance -- or, we might just try turning the key, and see whether or not it opened the lock. That's fine as long as we're considering only a single antibody, a single virion, and a single cell (which either does or does not become infected). It's a one-off event anyway, so we don't even need to question whether it would have worked every time.

The degree of affinity is important when we begin talking about large numbers of antibodies, virions, and cells. Then it becomes a matter of probabilities. Some percentage of antibodies find their viral epitopes and bind to them, and some do not (and this is the case even when affinities are strong). Now we have another opportunity to switch back to defining things functionally; we can say that the titers are either neutralizing, or they are sub-neutralizing; a certain level of antibody either arrests the course of infection, or it doesn't.

There are two issues here. One is that we are no longer dealing only with the actions of antibodies, but (because no single element in a complex system can exist in isolation anywhere but in our minds) with the actions of antibodies within the broader context of the overall immune response. We cannot now definitively say: "look; the antibody concentration was above 1:40, and the guy didn't develop symptoms; therefore, he didn't develop symptoms because antibody concentrations were above 1:40". (I expect no argument from anyone here on this point at least). The other issue is that the perspective from which we would most like to view this is not that of the course of infection in a single host and how titers of a particular antibody impact that, but the perspective of a trend in courses of infection within a population of exposed hosts, and how titers of a particular antibody impact that. And there, things are going to go probabilistic on us again, because differences in host susceptibility and overall immune response may be impacted by many factors: seasonal, genetic, dietary, astrological... who knows?

Meanwhile, influenza strains are constantly undergoing antigenic shift and drift, and returning to try the results on previously infected hosts. If the previous infection was recent, the virus will encounter high concentrations of antibodies left over from the previous encounter, and since the amount of change in the viral antigen will be slight, it will be immediately overcome. If it was less recent, what the virus will encounter are high populations of B cell clones bearing antibodies which were effective in overcoming the previous infection. Whether those same antibodies will be effective again will depend on the amount of change in the viral genome at the loci which affect the fine structure of the epitope -- and those differences do grade off in fine increments.

We might therefore try the "just turn the damn key" approach again, defining affinity (or specificity) in terms of whether it was adequate to produce the recognition required to trigger production of fresh antibodies. But recognition isn't a one-step process; among the factors involved, for example, is T cell response, which is also not an all-or-nothing proposition.

If affinity, specificity, and recognition were as narrowly restricted as you suggest (assuming that I correctly interpret what you're saying), then cross-reactivity would never occur, and the phrase "original antigenic sin" would never have been coined.

Quote:
If the concentrations of neutralizing antibodies are high enough there will be no infection. If the concentrations are not high enough by even the tiniest fraction then the infection will overwhelm the antibodies in a single replication cycle making whatever antibodies remain inconsequential in number.

Sub-neutralizing concentrations have been proven to be ineffective at slowing viral progression
I've learned to be cautious about using the word "proven". In any science, a proposition may be either "disproved", "not disproved", or "not tested" (and some are "not testable"). Outside of pure mathematics, nothing is ever "proved". Being a little fussy about that is one of my personal quirks, I guess. As a substitite, "demonstrated" is a word I often use instead. Pardon the interruption.
Quote:
which is why vaccines have to prove their vaccines stimulate a certain concentration of antibody to be able to say the vaccine works.
Again, things are not so cut-and-dried. High antibody titers do not guarantee that symptomatic infection will not occur, and protection has been observed (again, inferred) at low titers. Your arguments here are the tail wagging the dog. It's obvious that what we're looking for in a vaccine is stimulation of production of a certain level of antibody. But that isn't proof that a certain concentration of antibody will provide protection; it's an a priori assumption. And that assumption also isn't proof that a concentration below a certain point will be ineffective. The minimum concentration that would be regarded as acceptable was determined going in as the level at which the inference would be made that failure to observe infection in a given percentage of recipients of the vaccine would be the result of the immunity conferred by the antibodies identified serologically. We aren't talking here about what a vaccine manufacturer has to prove. We're talking about natural immunity and the implications for pandemic influenza. For reasons noted (far) above, vaccination issues do not immediately impact the avian flu issue; it is entirely the other way around.

Now on MT's advice, I'm going to have another go at that green glop smoothie idea. Wish me luck. I'll report the results on my next visit.
insider's Avatar insider 06:18 PM 09-10-2006
Well, my friend, you've left orbit. Once again, here's your original quote. This is what you are defending as true:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamo
the antibodies you developed last time you had the flu may not completely prevent you from getting this year's bug, but they may help you shake it off quicker.
You claim that antibodies failing to prevent infection will nonetheless shorten the duration of the illness. And now you are trying to expand the discussion in all directions to avoid debate on this specific claim. Don't go jetting off on tangents. You need to explain how antibodies that fail to neutralize virus subsequently shorten the infection. You have not done that.

The relevance of antibody concentration is what you seem not to be grasping fully. Permit me to discuss a related example: If you look at people who have low concentrations of neutralizing antibodies (these are antibodies that do neutralize the virus!), when they get infected by the pathogen they don't get a shorter duration infection. Now that's an empirical observation. It's been shown to be true again and again. Remember these are people that actually have antibodies that will neutralize the virus - they just don't have high enough concentrations to prevent infection. But here you are, telling me that people who do not even have neutralizing antibodies will have a shorter duration of illness - and the reason is because of those very same antibodies! Your idea is empirically false, but because I know you won't admit your error, and because I enjoy your posts, I encourage you to continue to conjure up some ideas.

And please, if you want to keep arguing with me, will you finally detail for us how a non-neutralizing antibody shortens the duration of infection.
Momtezuma Tuatara's Avatar Momtezuma Tuatara 08:50 PM 09-10-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
Now MT, you know I'm going to have to disagree with that. Whether or not someone is an expert has nothing to do with whether she's right or wrong. I've noticed that people usually claim to be an expert when they don't have a better argument to make. The logic, science and empiricism should speak for itself regardless of who says it.

Besides, of all there is to know about how the body functions, 99% is still unknown. How can anyone be an expert? When people claim to be expert they're saying they are smarter than you concerning that 1% nugget. That should be insulting. I am not an expert - and I've never met one.
Ah but see.

It works like this.

Most "experts" tell you that you should do whatever, because they know everything.

You are an expert because you know about what there is to know, but contrary to most other "ex-spurts" you are prepared to admit and talk about what they don't know, and WHY that impacts on what they do know.

THAT... is a true expert. The others are just gods on a pedestal
insider's Avatar insider 12:04 AM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
Trying to understand something as complex as immune response often does involve conceptually isolating some element or aspect. The "reductionist" approach. You wouldn't expect that it would be easy to forget that in the real world, the element under consideration does not actually exist in isolation, but it happens. Whether we were talking about it or not, lymphocyte activation cannot more casually be ignored than can any other aspect of these processes. I'll get back to this.
Please don't. I recognize this for what it is - the Chewbacca defense. Lymphocyte activation has nothing to do with the kinetics of antibody-virus neutralization. If you feel you need to get back to it, please start a new thread. And there's no need to slanderously imply I'm a reductionist just because I refuse to deliberate over every stray thought that spills out of your head. Now here's something for your reading entertainment.

Quote:
Virology 270, 1-3 (2000)
Antibody-mediated enhancement of infection is a phenomenon that at first glance illustrates the existence of nonneutralizing antibodies since the antibodies involved must bind to virions. However, a key observation here is that enhancement, when described, appears to occur for neutralizing antibodies at subneutralizing concentrations.

In typical assays, neutralization is observed at relatively high concentrations, whereas enhancement is observed at lower concentrations.

The phenomenon does suggest however a potential problem for a vaccine that induces low levels of neutralizing antibodies.
I'm going to be condescending and translate that in case there's even an ounce of misunderstanding. This is known as antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infection (ADE). At high concentrations, antibodies will neutralize the pathogen - however at low concentrations, the antibodies will enhance the pathogens ability to cause infection. I would say that's quite the opposite of partial immunity.

So if antibodies bind non-neutralizing epitopes on the virus or the concentration of neutralizing antibodies is below a certain threshhold, those antibodies will actually enhance the viruses ability to cause infection. Now this doesn't happen for all types of viruses. Turns out this phenomenon occurs only in certain viruses that can infect monocytes and macrophages. So is the flu virus one of them?

Quote:
Rev. Med. Virol. 2003; 13: 387–398.

[T]he antibodies can play a potentiating role in viral infection. That is, they exploit some antibodies for more efficient entry into target cells, leading to increased infectivity...

A number of other human and animal viruses, representing families, depend on ADE [antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infection]. These include:

Sindbis and Ross River viruses (Togaviridae), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (Arteriviridae), foot-and-mouth disease virus and Coxsackievirus (Picornaviridae), feline infectious peritonitis virus (Coronaviridae), respiratory syncytial virus (Paramyxoviridae), rabies virus (Rhabdoviridae), Pichinde virus and Lassa fever virus (Arenaviridae), influenza A virus (Orthomyxoviridae), hantavirus (Bunyaviridae), equine infectious anaemia virus (Retroviridae), reovirus (Reoviridae), Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (Parvoviridae), polyomavirus (Papovaviridae), rabbitpox virus (Poxviridae), murine cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and herpes simplex virus (Herpesviridae).
So when the flu infection or the flu vaccine stimulates antibodies that are insufficient to prevent infection, this is not a cause to rejoice. Those antibodies will not offer partial protection - they can actually enhance subsequent flu infections. When you line up for a flu vaccine, if you think the worst that can happen is that the vaccine won't work, you could be dead wrong.
Momtezuma Tuatara's Avatar Momtezuma Tuatara 12:25 AM 09-11-2006
I wonder if that is why the first experiments to make a vaccine against the human respiratory syncytial virus were such a disaster?
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 04:54 AM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
When you line up for a flu vaccine, if you think the worst that can happen is that the vaccine won't work, you could be dead wrong.
Quite literally, I guess.
Mommy To Baby Roni's Avatar Mommy To Baby Roni 06:38 AM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally posted by Dynamic
Jen, I can do the "argument by URL" thing, but it gets old. At this point, what I'm working on is learning how to express myself in terms easily grasped by folks who don't spend most of their time slogging through polysyllabic terminological esoterica. Know what I mean?
I know this has already been covered, but am bringing it up again because you don't seem to have changed your approach. I find it highly insulting. Don't think that repeating yoursef time and again around here will evenutally convince us that you are right. I can't stand when someone is asked to back up their claims and, instead of doing so, uses the other's supposed lack of education, intelligence or ability to understand as an excuse not to provide those facts, as if we should just believe you because we're too stupid to understand it if you explained it.

Quote:
This bunch has made the decision not to vax, and I'm agonizing over whether to let them know that I feel their unvaccinated presence poses too serious a risk to me to allow it. (I'm really mostly just worried about flu).
Not much about the pro-vax argument bothers me, but the "those not vaxed are disease-carriers" stance does. Maybe it's just the protective mother in me, who does not like to see their child negatively labeled. O/T - I was told that by allowing my dd to attend her school (they tried not to let her in, which is illegal here) was "now exposing them to disease" that they earlier prevented by requiring all children to be fully vaccinated, according to a school official. Ironically, twice, in only two weeks, one of those "healthy" fully vaccinated children has thrown something my dd's way. The 2nd one in 7 days has thrown her down for 4 days now. It's the first time in almost 4 years of her life that she has puked, yet MY child is the dangerous one. : Anyway, speaking of non-vaxed disease-carriers, when was your last vaccination for measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, pertussis, tetanus, diptheria, meningitis, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Hib, Pneumoccoal disease or rotavirus? When did you have your titers last checked? Did you ever stop to think that, maybe, when taking your standpoint on the vaccination/health issue, that YOU are the threat to your grandchildren, not the other way around?

Quote:
This is the origin of the term "sophomoric", and also explains the contempt the battle-seasoned soldier typically holds for the young academy-trained officer under whose command he is placed.
Welcome. I'm still waiting for you, the young academy-trained officer, to stop giving us more of the same and give us evidence of all you are spouting. Did you learn this all somewhere? Or is this your "interpretation" of facts, that you say is so important? If these are facts you are stating, then it should take no more time to find complimenting articles on the internet then it does to continously repeat yourself.
Cloverlove's Avatar Cloverlove 12:57 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
So if antibodies bind non-neutralizing epitopes on the virus or the concentration of neutralizing antibodies is below a certain threshhold, those antibodies will actually enhance the viruses ability to cause infection.
Wow- this is so interesting! Thank you so much for for your explanations, insider!

PS. What is the Chewbacca defense?
dymanic's Avatar dymanic 12:59 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by insider
You claim that antibodies failing to prevent infection will nonetheless shorten the duration of the illness.
Sorry. I thought I did answer that. Maybe I just buried in under too much stuff.
Quote:
If it was less recent, what the virus will encounter are high populations of B cell clones bearing antibodies which were effective in overcoming the previous infection. Whether those same antibodies will be effective again will depend on the amount of change in the viral genome at the loci which affect the fine structure of the epitope -- and those differences do grade off in fine increments.
If the starting point is farther back, it takes longer to reach the finish line. Understanding your objection to this tops my current task list, I guess.

Here's a snippet from an article you've probably seen, or many like it:
Quote:
The observations summarized in this review indicate immunity to infection with type A influenza viruses is subtype specific since little or none is conveyed to subtypes possessing immunologically distinct HA and NA proteins. However, within a subtype, a prior antigenic experience with one variant may prevent or modify illness to another. The resulting degree of subtype immunity depends on the extent of relatedness between variants. Observations with H3N2 viruses indicate that homotypic resistance to subsequent infection and illness with the same virus is potent and of relatively long duration. The long lasting durability of such immunity was indicated by the epidemiologic pattern following the reappearance of H1N1 virus. Knowledge of the duration and specificity of immunity aids considerably in assessing mechanisms that account for host resistance to influenza. Recovery from influenza virus infection must involve a variety of humoral and cell-mediated immune mechanisms, and conclusions regarding the relative importance of each one are not possible at presentThe link.
I gather that it is your position (and the prevailing wisdom here?) that this is all mistaken. I'd like to get a better understanding of the thinking that leads to this conclusion. I don't expect to get it all in one post.

The point on ADE is noted. I already mentioned original antigenic sin. Those little plot twists are always fun, aren't they? Is it your position that this sort of thing is typical, or even common, with influnza? Seems like it would jump right out at anyone looking at either the serology or the epidemiology?

Quote:
And now you are trying to expand the discussion in all directions to avoid debate on this specific claim.
I understand that you may have had bad experiences with some who employed such tactics, but I'll ask that you not be too quick to second-guess my motives. (I'm not saying don't do it; just don't be too quick to do it). It is the complex nature of the phenomena we're considering that drives the discussion in numerous directions, and the thoughts do gush out. For the cognitive incontinence, I'll apologize, but before convicting me of deliberate obfuscation, at least let me enter a plea: not guilty.

My son and his wife have decided not to vaccinate my grandsons. I think it's a mistake, but I've held my tongue (and boy am I glad; that was nothing but dumb luck). I've concluded, perhaps unfairly I realize, that they have been "deluded" by others, and I've been angry about that, and I've allowed my anger to pick its own targets, and I've treated harshly some who didn't deserve it. I don't feel good about that, and I owe ammends, and I'm tired of being angry. And stubborn. I just want to understand. Coming here has already helped me to see some of my own blindness, and spared me (and them) some anguish as a result. The very idea that the unvaccinated presence of my grandsons posed a risk to me that outweighed the joy -- the privilege -- now seems absurd. I would say "laughable", but if I look at it close, I realize it really isn't very funny. They are invited for Thanksgiving, and I'll count myself lucky if they come. If nothing else is accomplished, that alone was more than worth the time I've spent here, and I am grateful.

The nooks and crannies of my much-abused brain may harbor more such cobwebs, and I'd like to undertake a complete house cleaning, but I didn't get where I am overnight, so it may take time. In order to see your arguments, and get a better look at my own, I may take a position and defend it -- but my main purpose here is not to persuade. I will admit that during the process of exploring the contrast between your thinking and mine, I may occasionally need to be reminded of this.

I don't see us being on any deadline here, so I don't see why anyone should feel the need to present or expand ideas according to another's schedule. Those with more familiarity with each other may be able to move more quickly, partly because they won't spend so much time talking past each other. But at this point, part of what we're presenting to each other is still partly along the lines of introductions. Toward that end, I'm trying to express myself in ways that will give you a look at the general way I approach things. Other than that you didn't find the answer you were looking for, was there anything in what I did post that you disagree with?

I'm happy to home in on whatever you feel is important. We aren't going to be able to focus on everything all at once anyway. That's a drawback, because in the complex interaction between pathogen and host, everything does happen all at once, and I'd like that entered into the record. The facts we are examining are like pixels on a screen; the image does not reside with any one of them, or with any few of them, but with what happens when they are integrated into a complete whole.

Quote:
Lymphocyte activation has nothing to do with the kinetics of antibody-virus neutralization. If you feel you need to get back to it, please start a new thread.
Well, I guess we may be stuck there for now. Maybe we can talk more about what those two have to do with each other once you're sure you'll still enjoy talking to me.

The green glop experiment went surprisingly well. The taste I'd describe as somewhere in between lawn clippings and chalk, but it wasn't strong enough to be very offensive, so I had no trouble getting it down at least. I'm going to try some different things to see if I can come up with something at least mildy pleasant. I'm thinking spices, maybe hot sauce. Advice? MT, that was a terrific suggestion, thank you so much. I feel healthier already. And next time I look at a link you provide, I'll try not to be in such a dang hurry (hey, that advice sounds familiar. Oh yeah. I remember. Hey, take my advice; I'm not using it anyway). Bought me a big ol' yam today, too.
mamakay's Avatar mamakay 01:03 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
Yes, I've seen that. Results were better with the same age group where the subjects were not in an institutional setting (for some reason). I think I mentioned somewhere above that the averaged results from numerous studies always impresses me more than those from a single study.
I'm not sure anyone is presently forming a meta-analysis of all the studies, but there are more.
Here’s one from the US
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15710788

Here’s one out of the UK.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=14499051

Last season there were a couple that came out of Canada, too, that if I remember correctly, found the same thing across all age groups.
mamakay's Avatar mamakay 01:47 PM 09-11-2006
boongirl's Avatar boongirl 03:55 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtezuma Tuatara
Every single country (and I collect articles like some people breath) told their "people" that if you get the flu vaccine in large numbers, we will stop the flu and then bird flu won't have a chance to mutate into a human form

Can you please explain how you came to this conspiracy theory? When I visit the CDC website, I see this:

Quote:
Treatment and vaccination for H5N1 virus in humans

The H5N1 virus that has caused human illness and death in Asia is resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, two antiviral medications commonly used for influenza. Two other antiviral medications, oseltamavir and zanamavir, would probably work to treat influenza caused by H5N1 virus, but additional studies still need to be done to demonstrate their effectiveness.
There currently is no commercially available vaccine to protect humans against H5N1 virus that is being seen in Asia and Europe. However, vaccine development efforts are taking place. Research studies to test a vaccine to protect humans against H5N1 virus began in April 2005, and a series of clinical trials is under way. For more information about H5N1 vaccine development process, visit the National Institutes of Health website
And the US Government says this:

Quote:
Influenza vaccines provide the best protection against viruses closely related to the vaccine strains. Current annual influenza vaccines include influenza A subtype H3N2 and H1N1 viruses. A vaccine made from these viruses would not provide protection from other influenza A viruses (such as H5N1) that are not closely related to them.
You make a lot of arguments that the government and big business are in cahoots and out to get us all vaccinated to make money but in this case you are just flat out wrong. The US government has not told its people that getting the flu vaccine in large numbers will in any way stop the avian flu. When you write something that is not true and emphatically claim it is true, it weakens all your arguments, I afraid.
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 04:04 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
The US government has not told its people that getting the flu vaccine in large numbers will in any way stop the avian flu.
Not entirely true. The US government has encouraged Americans to get the flu vaccine, so that manufacturers would increase production capacity, making them better able to manufacture enough vaccine in the event of a pandemic. Without the demand for seasonal flu vaccine, manufacturers simply wouldn't have the production capacity to create enough vaccine should bird flu or any other flu cause a pandemic. (At least, that's what the pharmaceutical companies say and I believe it's probably true.) Therefore, the US gov't has told us that getting our annual flu vaccine would slow the spread of avian flu because it would mean more avian flu vaccine would be available once a pandemic started.

As to the statements made my MT, I've not read that, but I'm sure it's probably true. After all, gov'ts would claim that the vaccine prevents influenza infection, which would supposedly mean that a person wouldn't contract avian flu and another flu at the same time, which would then mean there would be no other flu for avian flu to swap genes with. If avian flu can't swap genes, there will be no pandemic. Simple as that. Since gov'ts claim flu vaccines work, it would be perfectly logical for them to try to claim they would prevent a pandemic. Again, I've not seen that, but I can see why they'd try to say it.
mamakay's Avatar mamakay 04:16 PM 09-11-2006
There was also the "recipe for creating interest in, and demand for, the flu vaccine" CDC meeting that listed talking about bird flu as a way to increase annual influenza uptake. (I'll dig up the link if anyone wants it)
I'm assuming (anyone with a better theory feel free to propose it) that works because most people are uninformed, and think flu shots might prevent birdflu.

ETA:
Neverming. I just went and found it.

http://www.iom.edu/Object.File/Master/21/674/Nowak.pdf

Quote:
7.References to, and discussions, of pandemic influenza.along with continued reference to the importance of vaccination.
ETAA:
Actually...this one is slightly different from the other Nowak presentations...same thing, different year, I guess..
Anyway, under "mass media challenges"...I LOVE this!
Quote:
Health literacy is a growing problem
:
Momtezuma Tuatara's Avatar Momtezuma Tuatara 07:37 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
Can you please explain how you came to this conspiracy theory? When I visit the CDC website, I see this:



And the US Government says this:

You make a lot of arguments that the government and big business are in cahoots and out to get us all vaccinated to make money but in this case you are just flat out wrong.
REALLY....????
Quote:
The US government has not told its people that getting the flu vaccine in large numbers will in any way stop the avian flu. When you write something that is not true and emphatically claim it is true, it weakens all your arguments, I afraid.
Did you even bother to check?

I'm so glad it was you boongirl, that took the bait... You don't really imagine that CDC would come out and admit it that vaccine manufacturers have threatened them, do you???? Oh no, they leave that to the Brits to admit.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...ixnewstop.html

Quote:
Firms' threat to limit bird flu vaccine
By Rosie Murray-West
(Filed: 26/10/2005)

The makers of flu vaccine yesterday threatened not to produce enough bird flu vaccine to deal with an outbreak unless ministers agreed to buy more of their products.

Richard Stubbins, of the UK Vaccine Industry Group, told a House of Lords select committee that it was "unreasonable" for the Government to expect the industry to build new plants to produce enough vaccine for a pandemic then mothball them.

....He called for the Government to vaccinate everyone aged over 50 and possibly children against common flu as a matter of routine. That would guarantee that the extra capacity would be used.

The industry group represents all the companies that produce flu vaccine, including the British giant Glaxosmithkline and the French company Sanofi.

A vaccine for a feared bird flu pandemic cannot be created until the strain of the virus that can pass between humans is identified.

Mr Stubbins said the Government wanted 120 million doses of vaccine as soon as it was available but there was "a lot of work to do" before companies could produce enough to meet demand.

"We have to work very closely with the Government to find ways of increasing the productivity of the industry in as short a time as possible," he said.

Bird flu factfile

One way to encourage companies to do so was to increase the use of ordinary influenza vaccines.

At the moment flu vaccination is free and recommended for people over 65 and those with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Mr Stubbins said the industry was asking health officials to increase coverage until two thirds of the population was routinely vaccinated.

Do you honestly think its a fluke that the drive to vaccinate everyone against the flu ONLY came about because your Government thought it was a good idea?

Given that the influenza vaccine is a shonk vaccine, and simply doesn't work in the elderly... why do you REALLY think it was that they then said

Lets vaccinate Johnny to protect Grammy

You think it was out of altruism?

So even when a Cochrane review says there is no evidence that vaccinating under-5's will work, why do you think it is that CDC sails along like a Sherman Tank on autopilot?

And then why do you think it is that Greg Poland et al try to make it compulsory for all health workers, who are reknown for refusing the vaccine because they know it doesn't work... AND ... advocate for annual vaccination for everyone by 2008, huh?

And just when you think all that through and sit there looking at the usual annual blurb saying that Get Grammy the vaccine or she could get sick, what is it, do you think, that made them think that maybe a much STRONGERA vaccine might do the trick.

http://www.upi.com/ConsumerHealthDai...3-021839-8197r

Quote:
A higher dose of influenza vaccine may increase elderly patients' immune response without significant adverse effects, a U.S. study finds.

While influenza vaccines have shown to be effective at 15 micrograms of inactivated virus per strain for the adult population, the vaccine has not always been effective in the elderly.

Dr. Wendy A. Keitel of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston studied the response to vaccines containing 15, 30 and 60 micrograms of virus among 202 individuals age 65 years and older -- average age 72.4 -- in 2002.

On average, the individuals who received higher dosages of vaccine had higher concentrations of antibodies against the flu virus in their blood one month later. In addition, a larger percentage of those who received the higher-dose vaccines had what physicians believe is a sufficient immune response to protect them from developing the flu if they were exposed to the virus.

All three vaccine dosage levels were safe and well tolerated, according to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
You don't contemplate a 12x stronger vaccine, if the one you've used for 40 years actually works.

Even their pathetic comments about the vaccine being effective in adults is a lie, as was witnessed in our town when the local practice had the misfortune to vaccinate the whole staff on the same day .

Several of them got the flu, and within two weeks of having the shot. Temp agency workers had to fill a few gaps. I sat and listened to a right royal rant by a doctor who had had the flu for the first time in his life right after he'd had the vaccine for the first time in his life. Oh, but, says boongirl, that's just a coincidence. Always is, isn't it :

Okay, I've just had the flu for the first time in my life too. BUT.. I have an immunodeficiency, and using quackery, I did better than this so-called healthy male doctor. And frankly, it was no big deal if I compare it with the pleurisy I had about 10 years ago. And was very good practice to get my quackery marbles in a row if I really need them some time in the future.

Now, with regard to your other accusation, that nowhere was it said that the use of the normal flu vaccine would prevent the development of bird flu, again, not true.

It was said in UK, Australia and NZ... and I only check those three... but this afternoon, when I come home, I'm going to do a thorough search on the USA media, because I BET you that somewhere in USA, exactly the same was said as this:

And remember, this is the Australian Government talking here:

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/wc...luenza-faq.htm

Quote:
Q: Will the current influenza vaccine protect me against avian influenza?
Answer: No, The current vaccine for human influenza does not prevent avian influenza infection in people. However, in countries overseas, people exposed to bird flu will be immunised to protect them from human strains of influenza, to help prevent the emergence of a mixed human/avian influenza virus.
(By the way, that hasn't happened....)

In UK and New Zealand, the governments went one step further and said this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...825271,00.html

Quote:
The Times October 14, 2005

Bird flu alert: one million children need jabs
By Valerie Elliott and Mark Henderson ...

MORE than a million children in Britain must be vaccinated against flu as soon as possible, senior health officials said last night as the deadly avian form of the virus reached Europe.

....Scientists are concerned that, if the bird virus were to infect anyone already suffering from ordinary flu, the victim could then act as a “mixing vessel” in which the germ could adapt to spread more easily from person to person. This would be the key mutation that could trigger a devastating pandemic.
And there were heaps of other articles calling on people to have flu shots to prevent a bird flu pandemic, and in the UK and this country, it certainly increased the uptake.

Amazing what major scaremongering can do to the brains of otherwise perfectly sane people.

So Boongirl, I think you should be very careful before, however politely you accuse someone of lying.

I have others too, but right now, I have to go to town. Don't doubt it though. When I come back, I will try to find the others, and I will put ALL the ones I've collected up, so that you can have a nice meal.
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty 08:07 PM 09-11-2006
Yeah, Boongirl. The government couldn't possibly be doing itself any good by pressing vaccines and drugs on people, right. I bet there are thousands of survivors and parents of dead HIV infected hemophiliacs in the world who would tell you that the FDA only worries about your safety, not money or bribery.

I can't even tell you how many times my kids and dh have been told by the doctors that they *must* get the flu vax because it will prevent them from the oh so inevitable bird flu pandemic. And I'm sure that the pharma isn't putting the words in their mouth.
dymanic's Avatar dymanic 11:41 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay
I'm not sure anyone is presently forming a meta-analysis of all the studies, but there are more.
Here’s one from the US
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15710788

Here’s one out of the UK.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=14499051

Last season there were a couple that came out of Canada, too, that if I remember correctly, found the same thing across all age groups.
Thanks for those links, mamakay. I'll indulge in a bit of quote-mining here, to emphasize what I consider to be the main thrust of this discussion (relevant to the OP, at least) which is not the safety, efficacy, economy, or politics of vaccines, but the full significance of immunological naivete when entire populations are suddenly exposed to an influenza subtype to which none have had previous contact.

From your first link:

"CONCLUSIONS: We attribute the decline in influenza-related mortality among people aged 65 to 74 years in the decade after the 1968 pandemic to the acquisition of immunity to the emerging A(H3N2) virus."

The Hong Kong flu pandemic in 1968 wasn't near as bad as Spanish flu in 1918. The most frequently proposed explanation is that previous exposure to the "other" influenza antigen, neuraminidase (the "N" in H3N2, H1N1, etc), conferred some protection. It's possible that the N1 antigens of human strains may crossreact with those of a pandemic strain of H5N1, limiting rates of attack and mortality. Since a pandemic strain has yet to emerge, the ultimate empirical test has yet to be performed. Most of the focus is on the hemagglutinin antigen (the "H"), as this is the one affecting the type of host cell receptor the virus can bind to. The concern is that no H5 subtype has previously been known to produce infection in humans. Something in the virus changed to make this possible, and nobody knows what it was. All we know is that of the few cases of human infection that have been verified (a vanishingly small percentage of the total population) over half have died.
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 11:56 PM 09-11-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
All we know is that of the few cases of human infection that have been verified (a vanishingly small percentage of the total population) over half have died.
Ah, but didn't you read the report on how many UNverified cases they believe there have been? Someone finally decided to pull their heads out of their behinds and look into that. Lo and behold, they decided that the likelihood that the verified cases were the only cases is pretty slim. Instead, many hundreds more have almost certainly been infected, but the illness was so mild they never sought treatment. That sounds more like it.
dymanic's Avatar dymanic 12:07 AM 09-12-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting
Ah, but didn't you read the report on how many UNverified cases they believe there have been?
"Believe" can be a funny thing. The serology doesn't support it. Not sure what you mean by "the report".
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 12:28 AM 09-12-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
Not sure what you mean by "the report".

Haha. The same thing you mean when you tell me things without providing any supporting evidence.
Plummeting's Avatar Plummeting 12:35 AM 09-12-2006
Bird Flu May Be More Common, Less Deadly

Jan 9, 4:00 PM (ET)
By LINDSEY TANNER

Quote:
CHICAGO (AP) - As bird flu cases rise at a disturbing pace in Turkey, new research offers a bit of hope - it's likely that many people who get it don't become seriously ill and quickly recover.

Although not definitive, the new study suggests the virus is more widespread than thought. But it also probably doesn't kill half its victims, a fear based solely on flu cases that have been officially confirmed.

"The results suggest that the symptoms most often are relatively mild and that close contact is needed for transmission to humans," wrote Dr. Anna Thorson of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and colleagues who conducted the study. It was published in Monday's edition of Archives of Internal Medicine.

So far, the bird flu deaths in Turkey involved children playing with dead chickens.

The new study involved 45,476 randomly selected residents of a rural region where bird flu is rampant among poultry - Ha Tay province west of Hanoi. More than 80 percent lived in households that kept poultry and one-quarter lived in homes reporting sick or dead fowl.

A total of 8,149 reported flu-like illness with a fever and cough, and residents who had direct contact with dead or sick poultry were 73 percent more likely to have experienced those symptoms than residents without direct contact.

The researchers said between 650 and 750 flu-like cases could be attributed to direct contact with sick or dead birds. While most patients said their symptoms had kept them out of work or school, the illnesses were mostly mild, lasting about three days.

By contrast, most of the more than 140 cases linked to bird flu and reported to the World Health Organization since January 2004 have been severe - killing more than half the patients.

Dr. Frederick Hayden, a bird flu specialist at the University of Virginia, said the study "is useful for hypothesis generation" but highlights the need for widespread blood testing in Asia to determine the true incidence of bird flu in people.

The study authors noted that without any blood-test evidence to prove that the Vietnamese residents had bird flu, the results are only suggestive and far from conclusive.

Still, other flu experts called the study compelling.

"I would call this the smoking gun," said Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic flu specialist. "All of us have been concerned and have guessed that the data we have so far has been the tip of the iceberg."

The human cases counted so far likely have been the most severely ill patients treated at major hospitals, Poland said.

"In the really rural areas, we know that this had to be occurring" too, and the study suggests that the prevalence "is pretty high," he said. "The data lines up biologically the way we would have expected it to."

The researchers can't be certain that the birds reported in the study had been felled by the H5N1 virus or that it caused the human illnesses, but that is the most likely explanation given the ongoing epidemic in Asian poultry, Thorson said.

"The closer the contact with sick or dead poultry, the higher the risk for flu-like illness," Thorson said. That finding "speaks strongly against it being a circumstantial finding."

The H5N1 strain has ravaged flocks in at least 16 mostly Asian countries since late 2003 and is starting to spread to birds in Eastern Europe.

The news would be double-edged if the researchers' suspicions are correct, Poland said. While more widespread prevalence of bird flu in people would be worrisome, "the good news would be that virtually all of these were mild illnesses and everybody survived," he said.

The deadliness of reported bird flu cases "has been one of the features that has galvanized international interest" and stoked concerns that it could turn into a pandemic, said Dr. William Schaffner, a flu expert at Vanderbilt University.

But if the study is accurate, its findings would be "entirely consistent with the way most infectious disease occurs," Schaffner said.

While conventional human flu is thought to contribute to some 36,000 deaths yearly in the United States alone, many more people develop mild illness. Even in past flu epidemics, fatality rates generally were around 2 percent, Schaffner said.

The study may help temper "some of the overblown statements" about the deadliness of bird flu if the results can be confirmed by blood testing, he said. "It's a bit of a nice reality perspective."
Now can you link me to the serology surveys to which you're referring? I'm also still interested in evidence that supports your original theory, please.
dymanic's Avatar dymanic 01:40 AM 09-12-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting
Now can you link me to the serology surveys to which you're referring?
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content-...353/13/1374/T2

You'll notice that among those tested are healthcare workers, household contacts of confirmed cases, and cullers of infected poultry flocks. These are regarded as being the most likely to have been exposed, and are the obvious first place to look for subclinical infection.

One of the problems with serological studies is that they tend to be politically sensitive, and there is always concern about how forthcoming countries have been with their results. Not everyone agrees as to what is indicated by the studies which have been done, but everyone agrees that not enough have been done.

If further seroprevalence studies do indicate that the bug has been flying mostly under the radar, with lots of subclinical or asymptomatic cases going undetected, the news is not likely to produce a huge collective sigh of relief from members of the epidemiological community. It would indicate that surveillance is even poorer than they thought, human-to-human transmission is easier than they thought, and opportunities for the virus to reassort with human strains are occurring more frequently than they thought.
insider's Avatar insider 01:44 AM 09-12-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by dymanic
The Hong Kong flu pandemic in 1968 wasn't near as bad as Spanish flu in 1918. The most frequently proposed explanation is that previous exposure to the "other" influenza antigen, neuraminidase (the "N" in H3N2, H1N1, etc), conferred some protection... All we know is that of the few cases of human infection that have been verified (a vanishingly small percentage of the total population) over half have died.
Now I certainly hope you're not misinterpreting this as evidence supporting your misconception that antibodies confer partial immunity in the individual. Let's refresh our memories and recall that you claimed antibodies from previous flu infection cause a milder subsequent infection in the individual even when those antibodies fail to prevent infection. That is not what the above quote says: partial protection in the above quote means that part of the population is fully protected. I'm going to say that again because it's a rather important point: part of the population is fully protected. Each individual is either fully immune or fully susceptible. This is clear from the last line that says that when infection did occur it was massively fatal. That is the indicator that tells us that "partial" protection meant part of the population - because the people who did get infected did not get a milder infection - half of them died! This exactly contradicts your theory that antibodies failing to prevent infection will somehow cause milder infections (unless a 50% death rate is your definition of mild). Here you've provided us with an empirical piece of data that shows us your theory is wrong.
First ... 3  4  5 6 

Up