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.
Faye Jones | alfa
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