Saturday, May 16, 2009

NIBSC to have one candidate vaccine viruses by end May

Influenza A(H1N1) (swine) flu

11 May 2009

NIBSC is now in receipt of two Influenza A(H1N1) virus samples isolated in California (obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA) and one isolated in the UK (obtained from the HPA’s Centre for Infections, Colindale, London) and work on developing candidate vaccine viruses is ongoing. This is being approached using two distinct technologies - classical reassortment and reverse genetics – both of which have been used successfully in the past by NIBSC for this purpose. It is necessary to make use of all available technologies in order to ensure the successful and rapid generation of a vaccine virus. Whilst these activities are technically demanding,

the institute expects to have one or more candidate vaccine viruses by the end of this month.

Additional activities entail growing quantities of virus for the development of anti-sera to be used in further characterisation studies and in the production of reagents which are required by the vaccine manufacturing industry and national control laboratories in standardising and quality control of Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine. Investigations have also been initiated to characterise the pathogenicity of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus and to assess its similarity to recent human H1N1 viruses.

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