Bird flu vaccine works in mice

LONDON - Scientists have produced a vaccine against deadly H5N1 strains of bird flu that has protected mice, using a genetic engineering technique that can be easily scaled up for stockpiling to prepare for a pandemic.

Dr Suryaprakash Sambhara, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, said it can be made much more quickly than conventional vaccines and enough doses could be produced to protect people at risk.

It is also effective against newer strains of flu and does not need an adjuvant, or additive, to boost the immune system response.

"This vaccine can protect humans against newer viruses," Sambhara said in an interview on Thursday.

"Our goal is to move it forward to Phase 1 clinical trials."

Developing a vaccine that can be easily and quickly produced is the best hope of preventing millions of deaths from pandemic flu. Global health officials fear the H5N1 avian flu that has spread from Asia could mutate into a strain that could pass easily from person to person.

Source: CNN
calendar icon 2 February 2006
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