Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pandemic potential of H5N1 bird ‘flu

07.02.2006


Making vaccines against bird ‘flu is difficult and many problems need to be overcome before production begins of a vaccine for the disease, according to an article in the February 2006 issue of Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology.



There are worldwide anxieties about the spread of influenza and mutation of the H5N1 virus to acquire the ability to transmit easily from person to person. “Since many experts believe we are on the verge of an influenza pandemic, it is important to understand what are the options for protecting the population against bird ‘flu using vaccines”, says Dr Wendy Barclay, from the University of Reading.

“Making vaccines against bird ‘flu is not as easy as making the sort of ‘flu vaccines we use every year to protect the elderly against epidemic human ‘flu”, explains Dr Barclay. H5N1 can be deadly, so it is very dangerous to work with and must be carefully contained.


However, scientists are working hard, and pilot vaccines for H5N1 bird ‘flu have been made. But there have also been difficulties in getting the vaccines to work well in people. “Even the vaccine strains that have been made so far, and are currently in clinical trials, work less well than normal ‘flu vaccines”, says Dr Barclay. “Because these vaccines don’t work very well we may have to increase doses, which means there will be less vaccine to go round”.

A further problem is likely to be in production of the vaccines. Currently, this relies on large numbers of chicken eggs, which may become limited if bird ‘flu continues to spread.

“In the next few years, H5N1, or another avian influenza virus, could emerge as the next human pandemic virus or it may be that it doesn’t happen. Some people have argued that we should not invest in production of H5N1 vaccines yet since we don’t know exactly which strain of the virus will be the source of the next pandemic”, explains Dr Barclay. “Whether or not a bird ‘flu vaccine is available when the pandemic strikes will hugely affect the public health response and could make a very large difference to mortality rates”.

Infectious diseases are one of the most terrible enemies mankind has faced during its whole existence. This issue of Microbiology Today looks at the vital role that vaccines have played in our on-going battle with microbes.

Other features in the February 2006 issue of Microbiology Today include:

· The future of vaccines (page 8)
· A single-dose, live oral typhoid vaccines: an achievable goal? (page 12)
· Challenging times for malaria vaccines (page 20)
· Advancing DNA vaccines technology (page 24)
· Comment: You only get what you pay for (page 48)

These are just some of the articles that appear, together with all the regular features and reports of Society activities.

Faye Jones | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>