Robert B. Belshe, MD
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Belshe RB. Influenza Prevention and Treatment: Current Practices and New Horizons. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:621-623. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-8-199910190-00013
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(8):621-623.
Significant new tools to prevent and treat influenza will become available to clinicians in 1999/2000, and additional advances in vaccine are on the horizon. Advances include new antiviral compounds to treat influenza and new vaccines to prevent the disease. The development of these tools is a direct result of advances in fundamental influenza virology research.
We now understand that both influenza A and influenza B viruses have eight genetic segments that encode 10 proteins. Researchers have also elucidated the functions of these proteins. Immunity to influenza in humans is primarily mediated by secretory IgA and serum IgG antibodies directed against the two surface proteins: hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. Hemagglutinin attaches viruses to cells, and neuraminidase is responsible for releasing virus from infected cells. Antibodies directed against these proteins disrupt two key functions of viral replication. Induction of antibodies with standard inactivated influenza vaccine prevents influenza in adults and children. It is estimated that up to 90 million doses of the inactivated vaccine will be used in the United States this year (1). The vaccine has an estimated efficacy of 70% to 90% in adults but is less efficacious in elderly persons because this group may not respond with vigorous antibody responses.
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Infectious Disease, Influenza, Prevention/Screening.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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