The A(H5N1) influenza virus pandemic may be the result of avian H5N1 adapting to humans, leading to massive human to human transmission in a context of a lack of pre-existing immunity. As A(H1N1) and A(H5N1) share the same neuraminidase subtype, anti-N1 antibodies subsequent to H1N1 infections or vaccinations may confer some protection against A(H5N1). We analysed, by microneutralization assay, the A/Vietnam/1194/04 (H5N1) anti-N1 cross-protection acquired either during A/New-Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1) infection or vaccination. In cases with documented H1N1 infection, H5N1 cross-protection could be observed only in patients born between 1930 and 1950. No such protection was detected in the sera of vaccinated individuals.