Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Question about flu vaccine

  1. Sep 16, 2011 #1

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Can a flu vaccine cause a "cytokine storm"?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2011 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

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

    An article

    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.
     
  4. Sep 16, 2011 #3
    It has been proposed for the 1918 influenza pandemic.

     
  5. Sep 16, 2011 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    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 It's also from 2005, so it's a bit outdated.
     
  6. Sep 16, 2011 #5

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2011 #6

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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?
     
  8. Sep 18, 2011 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Also interesting that it's chicken eggs, not the virus that is a potential problem.
     
  9. Sep 18, 2011 #8

    bobze

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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.

    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.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Question about flu vaccine
  1. Flu Vaccine (Replies: 58)

  2. Swine flu vaccination (Replies: 31)

Loading...