Can a flu vaccine cause a "cytokine storm"?
One of the mysteries of the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009 was why the virus seemed to be more deadly among healthy young adults than among the elderly and infants who typically fare worse when sickened by influenza.
Many in the public health world believed the culprit was a so-called cytokine storm, an extreme response by the body’s immune system to a foreign invader that ends up causing more tissue damage than the pathogen does.
A group of La Jolla researchers reported this week that they have discovered a way of preventing that problem by disabling the potentially lethal immune system responses.
...Should H5N1 become the next pandemic strain, the resultant morbidity and mortality could rival those of 1918, when more than half the deaths occurred among largely healthy people between 18 and 40 years of age and were caused by a virus-induced cytokine storm ...
Just to be clear (since people tend to not read links), this isn't about "cytokine storm", nor a link to any harm from vaccines. It's saying that we need to be able to create more vaccines, faster. It's also from 2005, so it's a bit outdated.
LisaB--I haven't heard of a flu vaccine causing a cytokine storm before. It is possible however, particularly is someone has a hypersensitivity reaction to a component of the vaccine (such as an individual with egg allergies)--Though I suspect it would take many sensitizations to the vaccine to get the end result of the cytokine storm.
The 1918 flu (not a vaccine) very probably caused "cytokine storms" and was the reason for such high morbidity and mortality. Normally influenza buds from the apical surface of columnar epithelium that way it can be more easily transmitted form host to host. It appears the 1918 flu strains had genetic factors which predisposed it from budding from the basolateral surface of those cells. Thus it entered the blood stream in its incredible numbers and caused a hyperimmune state (cytokine storm) from the patrolling WBCs.
Thanks, bobze. That's kind of what I thought, that there would be a super-slim possibility but it wouldn't happen under normal circumstances.
Interesting about that mechanism...so a body might react to such an 'invasion' of flu virus as if some foreign substance was suddenly injected into the blood stream?
Also interesting that it's chicken eggs, not the virus that is a potential problem.