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: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

European physicist discusses Higgs boson at Brown University

7 hours ago

The head of the European Organization for Nuclear Research says the historic 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson particle and the particle accelerator that detected it are getting scientists closer to understanding the creation ...

IBM earnings dip as sales fall again

7 hours ago

Technology heavyweight IBM reported Monday lower profits in the first quarter following another drop in revenues, this time partly due to the strong dollar.

Recommended for you

A better grasp of primate grip

9 hours ago

Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history.

Oldest fossils controversy resolved

10 hours ago

New analysis of world-famous 3.46 billion-year-old rocks by researchers from The University of Western Australia is set to finally resolve a long-running evolutionary controversy.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.