Navigation Links
Bypassing eggs, flu vaccine grown in insect cells shows promise

An experimental flu vaccine made in insect cells ?not in eggs, where flu vaccines currently available in the United States are grown ?is safe and as effective as conventional vaccines in protecting people against the flu, according to results published in the April 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Removing eggs from the flu vaccine manufacturing process is one option for health officials seeking to protect the population from seasonal flu as well as a potential bird-flu pandemic. Using eggs to grow vaccine takes time; a flu vaccine that relies on a different technology is capable of being produced in large amounts much more quickly, a key advantage if a bird flu pandemic were to occur.

“Eggs can be very cumbersome to work with,?said John Treanor, M.D., the flu expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center who led the study of 460 people reported in JAMA. “When you need hundreds of millions of fertilized eggs, you’re dealing with a whole host of agricultural issues, as well as scientific concerns regarding the flu virus itself. Flu viruses can be temperamental, and it’s not always an easy matter to get the virus to grow as you want in eggs.?

The use of cell culture systems to grow vaccines ?using viruses as tiny factories to churn out mass amounts of vaccines ?is a growing business. A similar technology using human cell lines is used to produce the hepatitis B vaccine, while one form of a vaccine against human papilloma virus is made using the same insect cell line used in the JAMA study.

In the study conducted by Treanor, together with colleagues at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the University of Virginia, scientists tested a vaccine called FluBlOk that is made by Protein Sciences Corp. of Meriden, Ct. FluBlOk relies on a virus known as baculovirus, which normally infects insects, to churn out the key components of the flu virus in a cell line drawn from caterpillars.

In the study funded by the company of 460 healthy people ages 18 to 49, one-third of the participants received a smaller dose of the vaccine (75 micrograms), one-third received a larger dose (135 micrograms), and one-third received a placebo shot that didn’t include vaccine. Each of the “real?shots included vaccine designed to protect against the three strains of flu that had been predicted to be the greatest threat during the 2004-2005 winter, when the study was conducted.

As the scientists expected, both the smaller dose and the larger dose caused an immune reaction generally considered effective for fighting off the flu, with the larger dose creating a stronger immune response. The side effects of the vaccine were the same as those usually reported from a typical flu shot ?mainly mild arm pain.

Then, in the months that followed, there were seven cases of flu in the group that had not received the vaccine, compared to two cases in the group that received the smaller dose, and no cases in the group that received the larger dose. Together, the two vaccines reduced flu infection rate by 86 percent.

“Even though the study was small, the results are very promising,?said Treanor, who is professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology and director of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit at the University of Rochester. “While we certainly hoped and expected the vaccine to be protective, you don’t know that until you actually test it. We’ve shown that the vaccine does work in the real world.?

Freedom from the egg brings implications important to a world facing the threat of pandemic bird flu.

For decades the nation’s efforts to prevent flu have centered on growing flu virus in hundreds of millions of fertilized eggs, with each egg containing less than a teaspoonful of material that will ultimately become part of a vaccine. It’s typically a six-month process to produce enough flu vaccine to protect the public.

Tak ing eggs out of the process would likely slice one or two months off the production process, Treanor said. In case of a bird-flu pandemic, that would allow manufacturers to ramp up vaccine production more quickly than if they had to wait for the production of millions of eggs. Not relying on chicken eggs might also be advisable in case a bird flu pandemic hits chicken flocks hard. The insect-cell technology also simplifies the manufacturing process in another way: A live flu virus is needed when growing vaccine in eggs, a danger when working with a potent bird-flu strain.

The technology would also help make it possible to boost the dose that patients receive, by increasing the nation’s capacity to churn out vaccine. That’s especially crucial in the fight against bird flu, as Treanor and other scientists have shown that an experimental vaccine appears to be effectively only at high doses.

The experimental vaccine differs from approved vaccines in another way as well. The experimental vaccine focuses on a portion of the flu virus known as the hemagglutinin, which the virus uses to attach to blood cells. Unlike conventional vaccines, FluBlOk does not also include neuraminidase, an enzyme that allows a flu virus to replicate and spread. While the hemagglutinin is the focus of most vaccines, scientists have been curious to measure how a vaccine without neuraminidase performs.


'"/>

Source:University of Rochester Medical Center


Related biology news :

1. Technique may allow cancer patients to freeze eggs, preserving fertility before starting treatment
2. Research advances quest for HIV-1 vaccine
3. A much-needed shot in the arm for HIV vaccine development
4. Discovery of key proteins shape could lead to improved bacterial pneumonia vaccine
5. Gene vaccine for Alzheimers disease shows promising results
6. Influenza vaccine uses insect cells to speed development
7. Norovirus, AIDS vaccine and Hepatitis Virus
8. HIV vaccine trial breaks ground for future research
9. Live vaccines more effective against horse herpes virus
10. NIAID begins clinical trial of West Nile virus vaccine
11. Designing vaccines by computer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/23/2017)... , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being enlisted ... bacteria that live in and on the human body –and are believed ... The Microbiome Immunity ... human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is to help ... credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at ... between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... startups will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM ... France is one of the most ... increase in the number of startups created between 2012 and ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... April 24, 2017 Janice Kephart ... with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today ... without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive ... , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, ... now, all refugee applications are suspended by until ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... SomaGenics announced the receipt of a Phase ... (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially available ... from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s recent ... development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of cell ... for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells have ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics ... at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people ... to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... ... ... than 15 years’ experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy ... the in-house expertise in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On ... and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The ... The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: