University of Louisville researchers explore H1N1 outbreak
Colleen Jonsson, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the university, and her team isolated flu strain variants and tested how they functioned in an animal model. The researchers published their findings on Monday in PLOS ONE, News-Medical.net reports.
"While all of the variants that we uncovered hijacked the body's usual system for fighting off foreign objects in the lungs, namely the white blood cells, their ability to fight appears to differ," Jonsson, who also serves as the director of the university's Center for Predictive Medicine, said, according to News-Medical.net. "We were able to take the strain variants from patients who were hospitalized during the pandemic, isolate those variants and determine how they functioned using a mouse model. Future studies will determine the impact of various treatment options."
Jonsson said that this year's influenza outbreak is giving her team an opportunity to verify what it originally learned and to extend the understanding of the mechanics involved.
The final goal of the work is to obtain the full continuum of disease manifesting in patients, taking it to bench and animal research and eventually taking it back to help patients.
Jonsson said that the results of the study are currently very limited and preliminary, News-Medical.net reports.