Bird Flu Vaccine Protects Ferrets, Maybe People

Bird flu vaccine protects ferrets, maybe people.

A lab-engineered bird flu vaccine protected ferrets against several strains of H5N1 avian influenza, offering the possibility of making a vaccine ahead of any pandemic, U.S.-based scientists said on Wednesday.

But it may be tricky to test it in humans, reported Elena Govorkova and colleagues at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The animals were protected even though they did not show the usual antibody response — a measure of immune system reaction often used to gauge vaccine effectiveness.

The findings suggest it may be possible to stockpile a vaccine ahead of a pandemic of H5N1 influenza, the researchers report in this week’s issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, something that experts believed was not possible.

Leave a Reply