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New H5N1, H7N9 Avian Influenza Strains Vaccine Developed

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Published on : Jun 08, 2015

With the fear of viral mutations of deadly human pandemic of bird flu that is killing millions of chickens in the Midwest in U.S. any news about new vaccines is welcome. 

Researchers in US have described methods for creating new vaccines against H5N1 and H7N9 strains that have caused death to hundreds of people since emerging. Currently experiments are ongoing to combat the deadly H5N2 of the virus that has appeared in Midwest. The scientists first tried cloning the Newcastle Disease and added genetic material from H7N9 and H5N1 and injected the altered Newcastle to the chickens. The result was the birds showed greater immunity.

The new vaccines have great prospects as H7N9 is feared greatly since the virus can transfer from chickens to humans and chances of becoming a pandemic. H7N9 has caused death of 300 people so far and no vaccine has been developed for it as yet. The mutations of the virus are a cause for alarm. H5N2 has affected only poultry so far with almost 21 million chickens and turkeys that have been killed due to the virus but there are fears of it mutating into something deadlier.

If the vaccines can attack and destroy this strain of bird flu and Newcastle disease it would be killing two birds with one stone according to Jurgen Richt, a veterinary microbiologist from Kansas State University’s department that deals with animal diseases, in U.S. The vaccine needs to be tested by the U.S. government department of Agriculture. The vaccine can prevent the virus from spreading between the birds and can be used for producing vaccines for other animals as well such as pigs and cattle.