The bird flu is a virus scientifically known as H7N9 that emerged in China approximately 2 years ago and is responsible for many deaths.
The scientists found that people who were injected against seasonal flu had antibodies that protect them from the H7N9 bird flu virus.
The scientists are from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the University of Chicago Medicine.
They have published the findings of their new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
According to the researchers, bird flu started in China in 2013 and is responsible for many deaths among people who have been infected with the virus.
Although there hasn’t been any epidemic yet, there is a threat of wider global spread that worries scientists everywhere.
Patrick Wilson, PhD and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, studied the vaccine that is used against regular flu and discovered that it produces antibodies that protect humans against the virus. The vaccine creates proteins that neutralize the invading pathogen.
Dr. Wilson explained that people who are vaccinated against the regular seasonal flu also receive antibodies that will protect them against more dangerous forms of influenza, such as the bird flu.
He says that his team of researchers will work on developing new ways of amplifying the response of the virus.
For their study, the scientists isolated antibodies collected from 28 people who had been vaccinated against regular flu.
They selected a number of 83 antibodies that showed a reaction with a common form of flu virus, known as H3N2.
Of the collected antibodies, 7% of them showed reactions against a rare form of virus called H7, and of the 7%, three antibodies neutralized completely the H7N9 bird flu virus.
The scientists advise people to get vaccinated because the study shows that they will receive protection not only against the seasonal flu, but it will also keep them protected against other more dangerous flu viruses.
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