If you’re 35 or younger, your genes can predict whether the flu vaccine will work | Science News

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If you’re 35 or younger, your genes can predict whether the flu vaccine will work

Researchers still searching for a similar genetic ‘crystal ball’ for older adults

By
2:00pm, August 25, 2017
person getting a flu shot

FORTUNE TELLER  A set of nine genes can signal whether a young adult will develop a strong response to the flu vaccine, a new study finds.

A genetic “crystal ball” can predict whether certain people will respond effectively to the flu vaccine.

Nine genes are associated with a strong immune response to the flu vaccine in those aged 35 and under, a new study finds. If these genes were highly active before vaccination, an individual would generate a high level of antibodies after vaccination, no matter the flu strain in the vaccine, researchers report online August 25 in Science Immunology. This response can help a person avoid getting the flu.

The research team also tried to find a predictive set of genes in people aged 60 and above — a group that includes those more likely to develop serious flu-related complications, such as pneumonia — but failed. Even so, the study is “a step in the right direction,” says Elias Haddad, an immunologist at Drexel University College of Medicine in

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