Question about flu vaccine

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  • #1
lisab
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Can a flu vaccine cause a "cytokine storm"?
 

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  • #2
Evo
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It seems it has to be a live virus, the flu vaccine is dead.

An article

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.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/sep/15/study-deadly-cytokine-storm-could-lead-new-flu-dru/

An article in PNAS

http://www.pnas.org/content/108/29/12018.abstract

I wasn't able to find anything that implicated dead virus vaccines. Perhaps our experts here have more information.
 
  • #3
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It has been proposed for the 1918 influenza pandemic.

...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 ...
 
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Evo
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  • #5
bobze
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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.
 
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lisab
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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?
 
  • #7
Evo
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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.
Also interesting that it's chicken eggs, not the virus that is a potential problem.
 
  • #8
bobze
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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?

Yes. Influenza has a copious and fast replicative cycle, though it is low fidelity. Many of the virons would be non-infectious and are simply inert little antigens floating in the blood. I suspect that it is this reason that "confused" influenza (ie; budding from the basolateral surface) creates such an immune problem. There will be copious amounts of antigen that the innate (non-specific) immune system is exposed too. In this case patrolling leukocytes of the monocyte lineage. Which release cytokines which stimulates more leukocytes, which releases more cytokines and all that positive-feedback goodness.

I suspect, in the case of the 1918 flu, if the virus were actually more infectious (well with any influenza strain that causes a CS actually) there would be less of a disposition to a cytokine storm--Because the virus would spend less time exposed to the immune system which limits the involvement of non-specific immune response--basically a run of the mill viral infection then.

That is of course only a hunch, albeit one based upon years of study of the immune system :tongue2: And for some strange reason I don't think such experimental testing would appeal to anyone's sense of ethics, lol.

Also interesting that it's chicken eggs, not the virus that is a potential problem.

Another quirk of that evil "E" word--Eviloution :). Spend millions of years teaching an immune system how to deal with bacterial and viral pathogens, only to stick a little chicken derived albumin under the skin one time and suddenly the immune system goes into panic mode! Lol.
 

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