Ostrich Antibodies Could Help Ward Off H5N1 Influenza Virus

There is worldwide concern over the possibility of a new influenza pandemic originating from the highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza viruses. Yoichiro Kamiyama, from Life Science Research Laboratories, Fujifilm Corporation in Japan, and colleagues, have demonstrated that functional air filters impregnated with ostrich antibodies against the hemagglutinin of the H5N1 virus protect chickens from death by H5N1 transmission.

The researchers report in Virology Journal on their development of a convenient method for the mass-production of antibodies by using ostrich (Struthio camelus) eggs. The researchers say they strongly believe that the ostrich egg may be an excellent antibody source for industrial and medical purposes, and that their study results suggest that the use of ostrich antibody-impregnated filters might be a powerful way to prevent the transmission of H5N1.

Reference: Kamiyama Y, Adachi K, Handharyani E, et al. Protection from avian influenza H5N1 virus infection with antibody-impregnated filters. Virology Journal 2011, 8:54 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-54