What can finches teach us about the flu?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

begin quote“The shift to favor more harmful pathogens that we observed in the modeling results is a very dramatic increase, suggesting that immune responses have key effects on the evolution of this pathogen and others.”

August Free Press

As annual flu shot patrons know, immune systems are not perfect and must be constantly reinforced to protect against rapidly evolving pathogens.

New research shows that, in the case of a common backyard bird, imperfect immunity to a dangerous pathogen that causes “bird pink eye” actually makes the pathogen stronger and more dangerous for its next victim.  The findings — from a multi-university team led by Virginia Tech — published in the journal Science. (Embargo lifted March 1, 2018 at 2pm)

As annual flu shot patrons know, immune systems are not perfect and must be constantly reinforced to protect against rapidly evolving pathogens.

New research shows that, in the case of a common backyard bird, imperfect immunity to a dangerous pathogen that causes “bird pink eye” actually makes the pathogen stronger and more dangerous for its next victim.  The findings — from a multi-university team led by Virginia Tech — published in the journal Science. (Embargo lifted March 1, 2018 at 2pm)

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