Experts question generic bird flu vaccine

Feb 14, 2006

A bird flu vaccine ordered by the British government in an effort to prevent a pandemic may be ineffective, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

British officials sought bids from pharmaceutical companies for a contract to manufacture as many as 3 million doses of a generic H5N1 vaccine. The winning bid is expected to be announced soon.

But writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of scientists that studied the avian flu in China and Southeast Asia suggests generic vaccines may prove ineffective against a virus that has already had years to genetically diversify.

The team is led by Yi Guan of China's Shantou University and includes one of the world's foremost experts on avian flu genetics, Robert Webster of St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, The Times said.

Writing in the journal, the team said, "The antigenic diversity of viruses currently circulating in Southeast Asia and southern China challenges the wisdom of reliance on a single human vaccine for pandemic preparedness."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Research geared to keep women from fleeing IT profession

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bronze Age wine cellar found

11 hours ago

A Bronze Age palace excavation reveals an ancient wine cellar, according to a study published August 27, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Koh from Brandeis University and colleagues.

Orphaned children can do just as well in institutions

11 hours ago

The removal of institutions or group homes will not lead to better child well-being and could even worsen outcomes for some orphaned and separated children, according to new findings from a three-year study across five low- ...

User comments : 0