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Jun 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 11)

Purdue Scientist Gets Moving on Vaccine against H1N1

  • Using a method he developed for the H5N1 bird flu, Purdue University researcher Suresh Mittal, D.V.M., Ph.D., believes he will be able to create a vaccine that will work against the 2009 H1N1 flu strain and its variants.

    Dr. Mittal, a professor of comparative pathobiology in the school of veterinary medicine, received gene samples of the new H1N1 virus (swine flu) early last month. With scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Mittal hopes to have a vaccine ready for testing within the month.

    “We would like to have a vaccine in two to three weeks to start testing in mice,” says Dr. Mittal. “We are trying to use a similar approach with the 2009 H1N1 virus as we did with the H5N1 bird flu virus.”

    Traditional flu vaccines are composed of virus components from three flu viruses grown in chicken eggs. Since the flu viruses used are dead, instead of causing illness they create an antibody-based protection against closely related flu strains. This occurs because immune cells at the site of the injection take up flu proteins called antigens.

    Those traditional vaccines will not protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza, however. The influenza virus is constantly changing, which is why seasonal flu vaccines need to be tailored each year to better match strains expected to affect people during the flu season.

  • Gene Delivery via Adenovirus

    Dr. Mittal and CDC collaborators used an adenovirus to carry a gene of the H5N1 bird flu virus in 2006. “The adenovirus is incapable of replicating and does not seem to cause disease in humans,” Dr. Mittal said. “That makes it a suitable virus to work with for flu vaccines.”

    When the virus enters cells in a person’s body, the cells use the influenza genes to create the antigens themselves. By doing so, the cells create both antibodies and cell-based protection from mutated forms of the influenza virus.

    The vaccine Dr. Mittal created for the bird flu worked on three different strains isolated over a seven-year period. He’s hoping to see similar success with a 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine.

    Now that work has begun, Dr. Mittal believes a 2009 H1N1 vaccine using the adenovirus could be ready for production in a few months.


Readers' Comments

Posted 06/10/2009 by swine flu...

According to the World Health Organization, there are now more than 20,000 infected people in different countries. This puts the death rate at 2% of all infected people that die. This worldwide flu pandemic has been causing many people to panic, and some to tell everyone to knock it off because it looks like an outbreak of the sniffles. Regardless, the swine flu has made an impact, and responsible for actions to shut down school districts and shut down business across the nation as a result of the swine flu scare. A pandemic of any sort is also a financial risk, but faced with the potential horrors of some diseases, unsecured personal loans seem like the last of anyone's worries. (Ebola doesn't give a tinker's about your balance sheet, Bubba.) Still, it's wise to do a little credit repair with your health and do what you can to minimize risk for swine flu.

Posted 06/10/2009 by swine flu...

According to the World Health Organization, there are now more than 20,000 infected people in different countries. This puts the death rate at 2% of all infected people that die. This worldwide flu pandemic has been causing many peoole to panic, and some to tell everyone to knock it off because it looks like an outbreak of the sniffles. Regardless, the swine flu has made an impact, and responsible for actions to shut down school districts and shut down business across the nation as a result of the swine flu scare. A pandemic of any sort is also a financial risk, but faced with the potential horrors of some diseases, unsecured personal loans seem like the last of anyone's worries. (Ebola doesn't give a tinker's about your balance sheet, Bubba.) Still, it's wise to do a little credit repair with your health and do what you can to minimize risk for swine flu.

Posted 06/03/2009 by swine flu

idont know if ther is ever going to be a cure for this virus.. and if there is i hope they find it fast....so people can stop dieing... this is a very good article

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