Fact check: False claim 2014 study shows flu nasal spray causes Strep A

  • In Health
  • 2023-01-24 21:14:52Z

The claim: 2014 study shows that flu nasal spray causes strep A

A Dec. 5, 2022, Facebook post (direct link, archived link) shows a screenshot of a 2014 research study titled "Live attenuated influenza vaccine enhances colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus in mice."

"It's the flu nasal spray that's causing strep A," reads the post's caption. "For those that needed a little extra help."

The post generated over 80 shares in less than two months.

Our rating: False

The authors of the study in question told USA TODAY their work in no way proves a link between flu nasal sprays and Strep A. Their study did not even examine Strep A.

Claim misinterprets 2014 study

The 2014 study referenced in the post investigated whether FluMist, a live attenuated influenza vaccine, facilitated bacterial growth and increased the susceptibility to invasive bacterial disease in mice.

Contrary to the post's claim, the study did not investigate Group A Streptococcus, also called Strep A, which causes strep throat, skin infections and acute rheumatic fever, according to Dr. Jon Mccullers, a pediatrics professor at the University of Tennessee who co-authored the study.

Rather, the study investigated Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacteria that causes pneumonia and meningitis, and Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that causes sepsis, endocarditis and pneumonia, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fact check: Post falsely claims doctor tweeted she does not regret vaccine, even if it kills her

"Neither Streptococcus pneumoniae nor Staphylococcus aureus could ever cause Strep A," Dr. Michael Mina, the lead author of the study, told USA TODAY in an email. "All three are entirely distinct organisms with very distinct biology and patterns of infection."

The study also never concluded that flu nasal spray causes any disease for that matter, Dr. Peter Manes, a sinus surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, told USA TODAY. Rather, it found that while bacterial growth in the upper respiratory tract increased in mice after exposure to FluMist, no increase in invasive disease was detected, according to Mina.

Dr. Keith Klugman, director of the pneumonia program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who co-authored the study, agreed that the claim misinterprets the study's methods and findings.

"There is no way our paper can be used to support an observation that an increase in serious group A streptococcal infections is caused by an oral flu vaccine," Klugman said.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.

Reuters also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim 2014 study links flu nasal spray, Strep A


More Related News

Texas sheriff tells Congress county
Texas sheriff tells Congress county 'under siege' as department shares migrant smuggling cases
  • US
  • 2023-03-19 13:31:01Z

Texas sheriff says his county is "under siege" while testifying to members of Congress, while his department shares high profile stories of human smuggling...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Annemnani
    (2023-01-28 19:27:22Z)

    where to buy cialis online Transcripts were then coded by the first author and re coded by the second author

  • Annemnani
    (2023-02-02 05:27:59Z)

    best place to buy finasteride spiriva rosuvastatin obat apa Exchequer secretary David Gauke said These figures show the tax gap is continuing to fall

  • Annemnani
    (2023-02-07 03:54:36Z)

    EAACI GA 2 LEN EDF WAO guideline definition, classification and diagnosis of urticaria buying cialis online forum 2 years after antibiotic treatment 27;

  • Erussymer
    (2023-03-09 02:44:19Z)

    cialis super active a breif and quick simplified approach to the basics of a vast subject like iNTERNAL MEDICINE,


Top News: Health