Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New human avian flu vaccine

A promising new avain flu (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/) vaccine has just been tested at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Vaccine Research (http://www.cvr.pitt.edu/).

The tests were performed on mice, who showed an immune response to the H5N1 virus and were actually protected from death after being infected.

seeing how, like human flu viruses, the avian virus can change and evolve, this new vaccine was engineered to encode genes for three flu viral proteins. this will help against possible new strains of the virus.

the vaccine uses virus-like particles that the immune system recognizes as a real virus, but does not have genetic information that would allow it to reproduce. these types of vaccines are easyto develop, produce, and manufacture, which makes them very effective and cost-effective in the event of mass production if an avian flu pandemic was a threat.


G. F. Barbato said...

nice post!

here is a post from another science-blog regarding some errors made in the production of the current flu vaccine (and, more importantly, ideas on how NOT to make them in the future!).

L. Sarnowski said...

It looks like this is an important topic right now looking at a lot of the poultry sites. Here's another site on the "Bird Flu" topic. It gives ways to diagnose the disease and prevention too. (http://www.thepoultrysite.com/bird-flu/bird-flu-news.php)