Navigation Links
Saint Louis University findings: Don't pitch stockpiled avian flu vaccine

ST. LOUIS -- A stockpiled vaccine designed to fight a strain of avian flu that circulated in 2004 can be combined with a vaccine that matches the current strain of bird flu to protect against a potential pandemic, researchers from Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development have found.

The findings suggest public health officials can get a jump on fighting a pandemic caused by avian flu virus because they won't have to wait for a vaccine that exactly matches the current strain of bird flu to be manufactured. They can begin immunizing against the bird flu by giving an injection of a vaccine made from a related, yet mismatched strain of flu to prime the body for a second shot of a vaccine that matches the current strain.

"A cornerstone of pandemic planning is the development of effective vaccines against avian influenza infection," said Robert Belshe, M.D., director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Saint Louis University and the lead author of the paper.

"The results of the present study confirm the usefulness of vaccination with an H5 strain that isn't the current dominant strain."

Avian flu -- or H5N1 -- is a highly infectious and deadly virus that circulates in birds and has the potential to genetically mutate and jump between species to infect humans. Because people lack immunity to the virus, public health officials are concerned that the virus can spread quickly to become a pandemic outbreak.

In anticipation of a bird flu pandemic, in 2004 the U.S. government stockpiled 20 million doses of vaccine against the "Vietnam" strain of avian influenza, which then was the dominant strain of the virus. But the avian flu changes quickly and since then, a different strain of bird flu, known as the "Indonesia" strain, has replaced the Vietnam strain as the prominent circulating avian flu.

Researchers studied both the vaccine against the Vietnam strain and an investigational vaccine designed to protect against the Indonesia strain in 491 healthy adults. They measured the body's immune response to different combinations of the two avian flu vaccines. They also looked at how long to wait between giving the first and second doses of vaccine.

They found that two doses of vaccine are needed to provide protection against the avian flu. Giving the stockpiled Vietnam avian flu vaccine as the first dose primed the body's system so that a follow up dose of the investigational Indonesia avian flu vaccine triggered a heighten immune response. The immune response to both strains of avian influenza became more robust as the injections of vaccine were spaced further apart.

"The longer 180-day interval between priming and boosting vaccine doses gave the best antibody responses, although in a fast-moving pandemic, this is unlikely to be an option," Belshe said.

"The most surprising thing we discovered was the value of time. It's incredible how much stronger response you get at six months. There's something going on there that we know nothing about and is a very interesting area for future research."

Other areas of future of research include studying the vaccines in children and adults and examining the use of adjuvants, substances that stimulate the immune response to produce more antibodies so less vaccine is needed, Belshe added.

Public health officials might consider immunizing those who are at risk of serious side effects from influenza with the stockpiled avian flu vaccine, he said.

The vaccine could prime the body's immune system to mount a defense if the person is exposed to the avian flu virus and could be a powerful weapon in the fight against a pandemic, Belshe said.


Contact: Nancy Solomon
Saint Louis University

Related biology news :

1. Saint Louis University investigators perfect new version of blood-regulator thrombin
2. Academy of Science-St. Louis announces recipients of Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Awards
3. Patriot Data Solutions Group Selected to Assist Louisiana District Attorney Association with Pilot Project
4. Arjun Deb awarded Louis N. and Arnold M. Katz Basic Science Research Prize
5. Louisiana Tech professor partners with local schools to study menu nutrition
6. LSU receives $15 million grant from NIH to build biomedical research pipeline for Louisiana
7. Louisiana Tech forestry professor helps to shape future of global industry research
8. Grant to study effects of oil and dispersants on Louisiana salt marsh ecosystem
9. Louisiana Tech professor, researcher receives patent for electromagnetic technology
10. Louisiana Techs Institute for Micromanufacturing to collaborate with colleagues in the arts
11. Microorganism may provide key to combating giant salvinia throughout Louisiana
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Law Enforcement ... offering. --> ) has ... Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... ALBANY, New York , November 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... According to a new market report published by Transparency ... Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", ... value of US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market ... during the forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that it has been selected ... of only three finalists for a 2015 Tekne ... category. The Tekne Awards honor Minnesota ... and leadership. iMedNet™ eClinical  technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... DUBLIN , Dec. 01, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "2016 ... Sales Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Competitive Strategies, Opportunities ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Europe Cell Surface Markers: ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  Symic, a clinical-stage ... the extracellular matrix (ECM), today announced that it has ... advance the company,s pipeline, including its lead candidates SB-030 ... and includes the participation by all existing major investors, ... brings the total capital raised by Symic to over ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 ) ... U.K. Virology and Bacteriology Testing Market: Sales ... Supplier Shares by Test, Innovative Technologies, Competitive ... --> ) has announced ... and Bacteriology Testing Market: Sales and Volume ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... -- An interventional radiology technique shows promise for helping morbidly obese ... study being presented today at the annual meeting of the ... --> --> Gastric ... as a way to stop bleeding in emergency situations, but ... treating obesity is new. Mubin Syed , M.D., ...
Breaking Biology Technology: