CSIRO may have vaccine for bird flu
submited by kickingbird at Aug, 25, 2004 0:18 AM from Seven.com.au, Australia
Australian scientists say they might soon have a vaccine for bird flu, as signs grow that the disease is becoming entrenched in South-East Asia.
CSIRO Livestock Industries plans to trial an experimental vaccine on about a dozen chickens in its high security facility just outside Geelong, Victoria, that it hopes will protect poultry from the deadly flu.
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu swept through Asia from late last year, causing the deaths of 27 people and the slaughter or death of more than 100 million chickens and other poultry.
In recent days, a Malaysian teenager was hit by the virus amid warnings that it seemed entrenched in several Asian countries.
Chinese researchers also believe the virus may have crossed over to pigs.
CSIRO researcher Chris Prideaux said his organisation had developed a vaccine that delivered a portion of the bird flu genetic material.
That material, transferred to the bird via a genetically altered virus, gave the bird immunity to H5N1.
Dr Prideaux said the virus could be the answer to a problem that is looming across Asia and might ultimately threaten Australia and its poultry industries.
"This technology could really give us an effective vaccine that could be easily given to poultry and give birds a protection against avian flu," he told AAP.
Dr Prideaux said the advantage of the CSIRO vaccine was that it was not produced from a live inactivated virus.
He said these could result in the virus persisting in a flock or re-emerging to cause disease later on.
Another advantage of the CSIRO vaccine is that it is genetically different to the avian flu, making it much easier to differentiate.
After trialling the vaccine in Geelong, CSIRO will then look to take it overseas.
As avian flu does not exist in Australia, the vaccine will have to be trialled in a country where the virus has a presence.
Dr Prideaux said like vaccines for humans, there was always a chance the virus could mutate.
- WOAH: Influenza A viruses of high pathogenicity (Infection with H5N1) (non-poultry including wild birds) (2017-), China 13 days ago
- China: Confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H9N2) reported in Sichuan province Jun, 29, 2022
- China: A human case of avian influenza A(H5N6) reported in Jiangxi province Jun, 27, 2022
- China: Confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H9N2) reported in Hunan and Guizhou province Jun, 9, 2022
- China: Confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H3N8) reported in Hunan province Jun, 1, 2022