* Says autoimmune patients should not take Novartis vaccine
* Regulator says could lead to intensifying of disease
(Adds details on vaccine and warning)
ZURICH, Jan 20 Switzerland's medical regulator
recommended patients with serious autoimmune diseases should not
use an H1N1 flu vaccine from Novartis NOVN.VX, saying there
were no studies assessing the inoculation in that segment of the
Swissmedic said on Wednesday it could not be ruled out that
either or both of the adjuvant -- which can enhance the immune
response -- and the antigen, or less active ingredient, could
lead to an intensifying of autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, are caused
by an overly active immune system attacking its own body,
targeting substances which are normally present.
Novartis was not immediately available to comment.
(Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by David Holmes)