Navigation Links
Controversial Bird Flu Research to Resume
Date:1/23/2013

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An international moratorium on bird flu research, instituted a year ago by researchers because of concerns that a mutated form of the virus could fall into the wrong hands, has been lifted.

In a letter published Jan. 23 in the journals Nature and Science, the 40 scientists who first agreed to halt any study of the H5N1 flu virus until safety guidelines were established now say that labs in countries that have since established such measures can resume their work.

However, the United States is not one of those countries, so any bird, or avian, flu research there is still on hold, the group said.

"It is believed that all of the conditions the moratorium was initially installed to meet have been met," Ron Fouchier, of the department of virology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said during a Wednesday news conference on the decision to lift the ban. "In our opinion, in those countries where research can be done safely, research should restart.

"The risk of this information in the manuscripts being misused by malicious people would be very, very small, if not negligible," Fouchier added.

Fouchier said his lab would not be restarting experiments immediately, but that "certainly it will not take months to start. Probably in the next few weeks."

Ending the moratorium is necessary for public health reasons, those scientists who signed the letter stated.

"We believe this research is important to pandemic preparedness," said Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Our research to understand how avian viruses adapt to mammals will lead to better surveillance and vaccines... The greater risk is not doing research that could help us to be better equipped to deal with a pandemic."

The furor started in December 2011, when concerns that research into a genetically mutated form of bird flu could escape from labs or fall into the hands of bioterrorists. This prompted U.S. scientific advisers to ask Nature and Science to withhold key details of the groundbreaking research conducted by Kawaoka and Fouchier.

So far, the so-called avian flu strains have rarely been transmitted from birds to humans. But the genetically modified virus that was created by scientists in the United States and Holland has been more transmissible in animal experiments, potentially setting the stage for a deadly pandemic among humans.

Last April, the U.S. government gave the go-ahead for publication of two controversial studies, led by Kawaoka and Fouchier.

The research revealed that as few as five mutations are enough to make the H5N1 avian flu virus transmissible via airborne droplets between ferrets, considered one of the best animal models to study flu and its impact on humans.

In countries where research will resume, some of the tighter standards will include strict bio-safety guidelines for the laboratories where such research is conducted. Scientists have also signed documents affirming that they will not share the mutated virus with other parties without permission of the funder.

In addition to the Netherlands, Canada is poised to start research again, although discussions are still under way in Japan, Kawaoka said.

Kawaoka said he did not know when research might begin again in the United States.

"The U.S. has been unclear in how long it would take," Fouchier added. "If the U.S. would have said at the National Institutes of Health meeting in November of last year that it would take another three months, we probably would have waited. But we did not get that answer."

"It may take one, two, three years," he continued. "Many countries do this research. Should all countries really wait for the U.S., and why?"

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the United States has "done as much as we can as far as addressing the concerns." He said a system for evaluating the safety of proposed H5N1 transmission research in mammals, up for public comment this month, should allow federally funded research within weeks, USA Today reported.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the avian flu.

SOURCES: Jan. 23, 2013 news conference with Ron Fouchier, Ph.D., department of virology, Erasmus Medical Center, the Netherlands and Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison; Science; Nature; USA Today


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. U.S. Gives Green Light to Publish Controversial Bird Flu Research
2. Controversial vaccine trial should never have been run in India, researchers say
3. Supreme Court Backs Much of Controversial Health Reform Law
4. Stopping Controversial Asthma Drugs Could Have Downside: Study
5. Controversial Alternative Heart Treatment Shows Hint of Benefit
6. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
7. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
8. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
9. Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
10. Sexually abused boys at risk for more unsafe sex: UBC research
11. Researchers Find Gene Mutations That May Be a Key to Autism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Controversial Bird Flu Research to Resume 
(Date:10/13/2017)... QUEENS, N.Y (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... recently became a member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special ... constantly changing laws and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought together some ... at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event was livestreamed ... over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here . ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer ... one of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. ... descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Fairfax, VA (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... provider of DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by ... (EATS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN Medical , ... company with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award for ... extensive primary and secondary medical device market research by Frost ... its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the AVACEN 100, ... to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... FRISCO, Texas , Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare services, has amplified its effort during National ... patients about hereditary cancer risks. ... Journal of Clinical Oncology calculated that more than ... to have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017  In ... Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released ... opioids – to be used as a first-line ... pain. Recognizing ... the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: