Draadje vogelgriep

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Vervolg:
The immune system makes protein signals to turn T cells on and off as needed, like a molecular light switch. For the new vaccine, Freeman has helped develop antibodies to manipulate these signals.
"The idea for making a vaccine better," he said, "is either to give it better turn-on signals or block turn-off signals."
The flu is a slippery character, a quickly mutating ball of genetic material cloaked in a spiky layer of proteins.
Each year, health officials make an educated guess about which flu strains will be prevalent.
Each year, manufacturers make millions of doses of the appropriate vaccine, growing the viruses in chicken eggs and then killing them with chemicals. The dead viruses, when injected into people, cause white blood cells to make antibodies.
One company also makes a live-virus vaccine, called FluMist, which is not approved for the elderly.
Because the proteins in the flu's outer shell evolve quickly, the manufacturing process must be repeated each year.
Ertl, who is among Wistar's top-funded researchers, thinks she has a better way.
The flu virus also has internal proteins, ones that are similar across many different strains of flu, including the avian strains now found in Asia. Those internal proteins stimulate the body's T-cell response.
Ertl plans to mimic that process with genetic engineering, by customizing a virus found in chimpanzees.
First, she is neutering the chimp virus, cutting out the genes that allow it to copy itself. Then she will insert flu genes into the virus so they will express the flu's crucial internal proteins.
Once injected, the custom-made virus will trick the body into thinking it has been infected by the flu, thereby teaching its T cells to marshal a rapid response in the event of a real infection.
Since these internal viral proteins do not evolve significantly from year to year, Ertl's team might be able some day to make a vaccine that protects people for decades, she said. Freeman's T-cell-enhancing antibodies will be added for an extra boost.
The science may seem complex, but to Ertl, it comes down to a simple fight.
"You have your enemy, the virus, in certain numbers, and you have the soldiers, the T-cells in certain numbers," she said. "You have to look at it just like a war."
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quote:

flosz schreef:


Scientists follow the money to predict epidemics

25 Jan 2006 17:59:07 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - A popular U.S. Web site that tracks the geographical circulation of money could offer new insights into predicting the spread of infectious diseases like bird flu.

Money, like diseases, is carried by people around the world, so what better way to plot the spread of a potential influenza pandemic than to track the circulation of dollar bills, researchers reasoned.

Researchers in Germany and the United States did just that to develop a mathematical model of human travel that can be used to plot the spread of future pandemics.

"There are some universal rules governing human travel and they can be used to develop a new class of model for the spread of infectious disease," said Dr Dirk Brockmann, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation in Gottingen, Germany.

Health experts fear the H5N1 bird flu virus that has killed at least 82 people in six countries since 2003 could mutate into a highly infectious strain in humans that could cause the next pandemic.

"We can now plug in the parameter ranges that we think will apply to influenza and then simulate a pandemic that runs through Europe and see what happens," said Brockmann, who reported the findings in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

In addition to giving insights into how an infectious disease would spread, mathematical models and computer simulations could help to develop measures to take against it, he added.

WHERE IS GEORGE?

Human movement is a main cause of the spread of infectious disease but with modern-day travel involving boats, planes, trains, cars and other means of transport it is virtually impossible to compile a comprehensive set of data on travel.

The scientists analysed information from www.wheresgeorge.com, an online bill-tracking Internet site. Users, most of whom mark their bills with the Web site address, register on the site and follow the trail of their money after they spend it.

About 50 million banknotes have been registered on the site, according to Brockmann.

The information from the site enabled the researchers to develop a mathematical theory of human travel behaviour. When they compared their results with traffic flow of aviation networks in the United States, they found it correlated very closely.

"This is a very good estimate of how humans travel," Brockmann said.

"The things that we observed in the United States may also be valid for Europe or Canada. If that is so, we can develop models for the spread of infectious disease that can reveal universal characteristics of modern pandemics," he added.

www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L23...


In het Nederlands:

Virus volgt dollar

Formule voor omzwervingen bankbriefje voorspelt epidemieën
Links
Lees het volledige artikel uit Nature over de omzwervingen van de dollar.
Kijk op wheresgeorge.com voor meer informatie over het dollarspel. Ga naar de FAQ's/ 'user guidelines voor de spelregels.
Niet alleen de dollars, maar ook de euro's worden gevolgd, via de website Eurobilltracker.
Om meer te weten over de verspreiding van enge ziektes moet je meer leren over verplaatsingen van mensen. En om meer inzicht te krijgen in de bewegingen van mensen kun je het beste kijken naar de omzwervingen van... bankbiljetten.

Onze reislust wordt nog eens onze dood. De belangrijkste oorzaak van de verspreiding van ziektes is het gereis van geïnfecteerde individuen. Virussen worden snel overgedragen van mens op mens. Om enorme uitbraken of pandemieën van bijvoorbeeld de vogelgriep te voorkomen, is het daarom handig te weten hoe die besmette mensen zich over de aardbol bewegen.

Die bewegingen in kaart brengen leek echter onmogelijk. De mens reist zowel over korte als lange afstanden en met de meest uiteenlopende vervoersmiddelen als fiets, auto, vliegtuig en boot. Onderzoekers van het Max Plank Instituut voor Dynamica en Zelforganisatie in Göttingen en de Universiteit van Californië in Santa Barbara is het toch gelukt. Zij ontwikkelden een wiskundige theorie voor het gereis van mensen. En beschrijven die deze week in Nature.

Om tot die formule te komen, analyseerden ze niet de omzwervingen van mensen, maar van bankbiljetten. Die volgen immers zo'n beetje dezelfde route. De onderzoekers gebruikten de gegevens van een Amerikaanse website die dollarbiljetten volgt: www.wheresgeorge.com.
Mensen kunnen dollars zelf registreren. Ze moeten hun postcode en het serienummer van het biljet invoeren en eventueel een korte geschiedenis van het briefje zelf - hoe ze eraan zijn gekomen, in welke staat het verkeert. Deelnemers mogen hun briefje markeren - velen schrijven er ' where's George' op -, als dat maar niet betekent dat het geld letterlijk waardeloos wordt. Degene die zo'n dollar in handen krijgt, kan dat op de website melden en het daarna weer laten circuleren.

De onderzoekers zagen dat nadat de biljetten waren ingevoerd, de meeste voor het eerst weer opdoken in de buurt van hun beginpunt. Van de bankbriefjes die in Seattle en New York startten, werd ongeveer de helft minder dan 10 kilometer verderop gevonden. Slechts enkele dollars slaagden erin in één keer afstand van maar liefst 800 kilometer af te leggen: zo'n 7 procent.

In totaal bekeken de onderzoekers de reizen van 464.670 dollarbriefjes in de Verenigde Staten en ontdekten dat die gehoorzamen aan universele schaalwetten. In de fysica en biologie gelden ook dergelijke schaalwetten, voor bijvoorbeeld chaotische systemen.

Omdat dollars net als virussen overgaan van mens op mens, legden de wetenschappers met hun wiskundige theorie de basis voor het doen van meer betrouwbare voorspellingen over de verspreiding van ziektes.

Remy van den Brand

D. Brockmann et al., 'The scaling laws of human travel' , Nature 26 januari 2006
noorderlicht.vpro.nl/artikelen/26404991/
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Het is bijna geen nieuws meer, cynisch genoeg:

Indonesian woman dies of bird flu

JAKARTA, Feb. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Local tests have shown that a 38-year-old woman who died Saturday was positive of being infected by avian influenza, bringing the total death caused by the virus to 17 in Indonesia, a minister said here Monday.

"Her local test was positive," Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told Xinhua at the State Palace here.

But it is not clear whether the woman, identified only as Suciwati, had made contact with birds.

news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-02/06...
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Sanofi says produces more bird flu vaccine for US

Mon Feb 6, 2006 3:17 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis has completed production of an additional $50 million worth of bulk-concentrate vaccine against the H5N1 strain of bird flu for the U.S. government, the company said on Monday.

Sanofi said the stockpile broadens a $100 million contract it signed in September with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be used to support U.S. Department of Defense requirements.

Sanofi's experimental vaccine is the most advanced among a number in development against the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which scientists fear could trigger a global flu pandemic.

Sanofi said it also shipped 15,000 investigational doses of bird flu vaccine to the U.S. National Institute of Health to be used in clinical studies to determine the optimal formulation.

The investigational doses include the use of an adjuvant to increase the vaccine's effectiveness, potentially allowing a greater number of doses to immunize more people.

today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.as...

Meer achtergrond en details op:

www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl...
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quote:

Gert50 schreef:


Sanofi says produces more bird flu vaccine for US

Mon Feb 6, 2006 3:17 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis has completed production of an additional $50 million worth of bulk-concentrate vaccine against the H5N1 strain of bird flu for the U.S. government, the company said on Monday.

Sanofi said the stockpile broadens a $100 million contract it signed in September with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be used to support U.S. Department of Defense requirements.

Sanofi's experimental vaccine is the most advanced among a number in development against the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which scientists fear could trigger a global flu pandemic.

Sanofi said it also shipped 15,000 investigational doses of bird flu vaccine to the U.S. National Institute of Health to be used in clinical studies to determine the optimal formulation.

The investigational doses include the use of an adjuvant to increase the vaccine's effectiveness, potentially allowing a greater number of doses to immunize more people.

today.reuters.com/News/newsArticle.as...

Meer achtergrond en details op:

www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl...


Van de Sanofi site:

Press releases
February 6, 2006
Sanofi pasteur delivers more H5N1 vaccine for U.S. government pandemic initiatives
en.sanofi-aventis.com/index.asp
********************************
Recent Developments in NIAID Pandemic Influenza Research
www.niaid.nih.gov/dmid/influenza/pand...
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Update Iraq: 7 mensen met verdenking van vogelgriep onder behandeling volgens WHO. Bloedmonsters worden onderzocht.

06/02/2006 10:19 ARBIL, Iraq, Feb 6 (AFP)

Iraq has seven suspected bird flu cases: WHO official

Iraq's Kurdistan region has seven suspected human cases of the deadly bird flu, a World Health Organisation official said Monday.

"Apart from the girl who died there are seven suspected cases of bird flu and we have taken their blood samples and sent them to Cairo for further investigation," Naeema al-Gasseer, the WHO representative in Iraq, told reporters.

"We suspect these seven are cases of H5N1 virus," Gasseer said, referring to the deadly strain of avian influenza, adding that the seven people are undergoing treatment.

www.africasia.com/services/news/newsi...
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New Technology for Accelerating Development of Vaccines Against H5N1 Flu Enters Pilot Study at ProImmune

OXFORD, England, February 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology that enables
scientists to identify targets for the development of vaccines against
viruses such as H5N1 in weeks rather than months has entered a pilot study at
ProImmune, Oxford, UK.
ProImmune has developed REVEAL & ProVE(TM), a novel technology that
enables scientists to identify the specific antigens on viruses that can be
detected by the immune system and used as targets in vaccine development. The
new screening system enables researchers to analyse any protein derived from
a pathogen for potential immunogenicity within only four weeks, a process
that has previously taken many months to complete.
Dr. Nikolai Schwabe, CEO of ProImmune said:
"If the H5N1 virus mutates to increase its infectiousness to humans, a
severe global flu pandemic could ensue. Presently no vaccine is available to
treat H5N1 influenza but many companies are in the race to develop new
vaccines. This new technology from ProImmune should help in ensuring a
vaccine is developed rapidly as a new strain emerges.
"REVEAL & ProVE(TM) can revolutionise the discovery of new highly
relevant targets for vaccines and other immunotherapy through a dramatic
shortening of timescales and reduction of labour required in the process. Our
pilot study could make an important contribution to the rapid development of
a vaccine for avian influenza, especially given the immediacy of the medical
need."
The pilot study will explore the protein sequence of the key H5 protein
in the avian influenza virus. Results from the pilot study will be published
on ProImmune's website as they emerge (http://www.proimmune.com), enabling
scientists to evaluate the benefits of a clinical collaboration with the
company. ProImmune's testing products allow the measurement of relevant
immune responses in clinical patient samples.
REVEAL & ProVE(TM) technology is widely applicable across many disease
areas including all areas of cancer and infectious diseases, and is ideally
suited to accelerate critical biodefense research.
Notes to Editors:
1) About ProImmune - www.proimmune.com
ProImmune Ltd is a private biotechnology company headquartered in Oxford,
UK, that specialises in providing quality research reagents for monitoring
the condition of the immune system.

www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl...

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Russian Company Completes Development of Bird Flu Vaccine

MosNews

A Russian pharmaceutical company has announced the bird flu vaccine it has been working on is complete and has been successfully tested on animals.

The vaccine will now be tested on 20 volunteers, director of the Immunopreparat company in South Urals Makhamat Alsynbayev told Regnum news agency Monday.

The vaccine was produced with the use of H5N1 virus that proved to be most dangerous for humans.

So far, researchers have conducted tests on animals, but they are confident tests on humans will go successfully too.

“I am sure that all three kinds of the vaccine will receive approval at the St. Petersburg Flu Research Institute, and will be recommended for wide-scale production,” Alsynbayev said.

Experts estimate mass production costs for the new vaccine at $10 to 15 million. To develop the vaccine has cost Immunopreparat almost $1 million, with $16,000 spent to purchase the H5N1 culture from the British National Institute for Biological Standards and Control. The company is capable of producing up to 30 million doses in a year.

The new medication will be used for obligatory vaccination of poultry farms workers.

www.mosnews.com/news/2006/02/06/birdf...
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Bevestiging vogelgriep bij 2e slachtoffer in Iraq
(oom van het 1e slachtoffer, meisje van 15)

www.africasia.com/services/news/newsi...

06/02/2006 14:45 BAGHDAD, Feb 6 (AFP)

Second Iraqi Kurd confirmed dead from bird flu

The uncle of an Iraqi Kurdish teenager who died of bird flu has also died of the deadly H5N1 strain, according to laboratory tests in Cairo, a source in the Kurdish health ministry said.

Mohammed Sur Abdallah died on January 26, a little over a week after the death of his neice, and his samples were sent for testing to the World Health Organization facility in Cairo.

The samples will now be sent for further testing to London, but an official with the Kurdish health department told AFP the Cairo tests showed the uncle, who lived in close proximity to his neice, had died of the virus.

Two teams of experts from the WHO have been sent to Iraq's Kurdish provinces to help forestall an outbreak of the deadly avian flu which is already present in neighboring Turkey.

Net als in o.a. Indonesia en Turkije: eerste geval direct kontakt met zieke kippen/vogels. Volgende gevallen directe familie van 1e geval, contacten met zieke vogels minder duidelijk.



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Scheepskok in haven in Litouwen overleden, verdenking van vogelgriep.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

An Indian sailor who died in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda may have been infected with bird flu, the Lithuanian health ministry said.
.
"A member of the crew of the ship M.V. Ocean Wind, Indian citizen Shaikh Rafikque, died in Klaipeda. The suspected cause of death is bird flu," a statement from the ministry said.
.
"Rafikque, who was the ship's cook, fell ill on February 4, according to reports from the crew," the statement said.
.
"He died in a medical emergency vehicle on Monday," it said.
.
A preliminary autopsy will be conducted on the 62-year-old sailor's body in Klaipeda, with a more thorough analysis to be undertaken in the capital, Vilnius, within 48 hours, the health ministry said.
.
The final results of the autopsy are expected in a few days, the statement said.
.
The Ocean Wind arrived in Lithuania from Germany on January 17, the health ministry said. — AFP An Indian sailor who died in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda may have been infected with bird flu, the Lithuanian health ministry said.
.
"A member of the crew of the ship M.V. Ocean Wind, Indian citizen Shaikh Rafikque, died in Klaipeda. The suspected cause of death is bird flu," a statement from the ministry said.
.
"Rafikque, who was the ship's cook, fell ill on February 4, according to reports from the crew," the statement said.
.
"He died in a medical emergency vehicle on Monday," it said.
.
A preliminary autopsy will be conducted on the 62-year-old sailor's body in Klaipeda, with a more thorough analysis to be undertaken in the capital, Vilnius, within 48 hours, the health ministry said.
.
The final results of the autopsy are expected in a few days, the statement said.
.
The Ocean Wind arrived in Lithuania from Germany on January 17, the health ministry said. — AFP An Indian sailor who died in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda may have been infected with bird flu, the Lithuanian health ministry said.
.
"A member of the crew of the ship M.V. Ocean Wind, Indian citizen Shaikh Rafikque, died in Klaipeda. The suspected cause of death is bird flu," a statement from the ministry said.
.
"Rafikque, who was the ship's cook, fell ill on February 4, according to reports from the crew," the statement said.
.
"He died in a medical emergency vehicle on Monday," it said.
.
A preliminary autopsy will be conducted on the 62-year-old sailor's body in Klaipeda, with a more thorough analysis to be undertaken in the capital, Vilnius, within 48 hours, the health ministry said.
.
The final results of the autopsy are expected in a few days, the statement said.
.
The Ocean Wind arrived in Lithuania from Germany on January 17, the health ministry said. — AFP

www.todayonline.com/articles/99527.asp

WarrumBuffet
4
Verspreiding Vogelgriep-virus door trekvogels wordt ingedamd.

De verspreiding van het zeer gevaarlijke H5N1-virus door trekvogels wordt met een speciaal programma teruggedrongen.

Dit alternatieve programma werkt niet met vaccinaties ... zie bijlage ...

WB
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quote:

WarrumBuffet schreef:


Verspreiding Vogelgriep-virus door trekvogels wordt ingedamd.

De verspreiding van het zeer gevaarlijke H5N1-virus door trekvogels wordt met een speciaal programma teruggedrongen.

Dit alternatieve programma werkt niet met vaccinaties ... zie bijlage ...

WB

Leuk!
gr.
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quote:

WarrumBuffet schreef:


Verspreiding Vogelgriep-virus door trekvogels wordt ingedamd.

De verspreiding van het zeer gevaarlijke H5N1-virus door trekvogels wordt met een speciaal programma teruggedrongen.

Dit alternatieve programma werkt niet met vaccinaties ... zie bijlage ...

WB


Hij is mooi!

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Sanofi expands bird flu contract
French drug maker produces bulk concentrate of bird flu vaccines in U.S.; ships to NIH.

Sanofi Pasteur expanded its bird flu contact with the U.S. government and
shipped out thousands of experimental vaccine doses to build up stockpiles
against the specter of a pandemic, the company said on Monday.
money.cnn.com/2006/02/06/news/compani...
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PARIS, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/

The U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) and Institut Pasteur (IP) today agreed to carry out joint
activities, beginning in Southeast Asia, to strengthen global capacity to
detect influenza viruses that could have the potential to trigger a human
pandemic.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by HHS Deputy Secretary Alex
M. Azar and IP President Professor Alice Dautry, establishes a Joint HHS-IP
Working Group to oversee the development of collaborative projects, to include
the following:

* Building capacity in terms of surveillance, epidemiological
investigation, testing, diagnosis, and control of infectious disease in
countries affected by and at-risk for the spread of the H5N1 influenza strain;
* Exchanging technical expertise to foster rapid response to disease
threats; and
* Disseminating effective and accurate public information on infectious
disease, including in local languages in developing countries.

"The looming threat of a global influenza pandemic demands global,
regional and national attention, and preparation and response to a pandemic is
a shared responsibility," Deputy Secretary Azar said. "This partnership will
substantially strengthen the capacity to prepare for and respond to a pandemic
in countries where avian influenza is now endemic in poultry and where human
infections and deaths have occurred. We are very pleased to partner with the
IP, an internationally respected research institute with such an impressive
global network of institutes."
The working group will initially focus on activities and cooperation in
Southeast Asia, where the bulk of reported cases of H5N1 avian influenza has
been found. In addition, potential activities include organizing scientific
conferences, conducting training exercises, and fostering exchanges among
experts that will improve preparedness for and response to infectious
diseases, with particular emphasis on respiratory diseases and influenza.
"The Avian Flu and respiratory diseases have been our constant concern,
especially in the Pasteur Institutes in the Asian region," IP President
Professor Alice Dautry said, "We have laid a heavy focus on them since 2004
and heartily welcome this new partnership with HHS to fight the potential
pandemic. This is a unique opportunity to join efforts to fight infectious
diseases upfront."
In October 2005, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt led a combined U.S. and
international delegation of health experts on a ten-day, five-nation trip to
Southeast Asia, during which he met with officials from IP in Cambodia and
other groups. The purpose of Secretary Leavitt's visit was to learn from
countries that had first-hand experience in dealing with avian influenza, to
emphasize to them the importance of sharing information in a timely fashion,
to look at local capacity and to determine where HHS investments might make
additional investments, consistent with the President's National Strategy on
Pandemic Influenza. During this trip, and during subsequent negotiations led
by HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Stewart
Simonson, HHS and IP set out a plan to collaborate on containment efforts in
Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as how to enhance surveillance for H5N1
in those countries.
Health professionals are concerned that the continued and expanded spread
of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, now endemic in poultry
populations across eastern Asia and other parts of the world, represents a
significant threat to global health security. The H5N1 virus has raised
concerns about a potential human pandemic because it is especially virulent;
spread by migratory birds; transmitted from birds to mammals, and, in some
limited circumstances to humans; and, like other influenza viruses, it
continues to evolve.
Since 2003, a growing number of human H5N1 cases have been reported in
Thailand, China, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Turkey and Iraq, and more than
half of the people infected with the H5N1 virus have died. Exposure to
infected poultry is believed to have caused all these cases. The concern is
that H5N1 will evolve into a virus capable of sustained human-to-human
transmission.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a component of the
U.S. Government, which includes such agencies as the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

The Institut Pasteur is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the
prevention and treatment of infectious diseases through biological research,
education and public health activities.

For additional information about the U.S. Government's efforts to contain
avian influenza and prepare for a potential influenza pandemic, including the
President's National Strategy and the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan, please
visit www.pandemicflu.gov. For additional information about the IP,
visit www.pasteur.fr.
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CSL sells flu vaccine under its name in 16 countries and supplies bulk vaccine to Berna Biotech, a Swiss company, which sells vaccine in 24 countries.
**************************

Australian Company Intends to Sell a Flu Vaccine in US

By ANDREW POLLACK
Published: February 7, 2006

Another manufacturer is making plans to sell flu vaccine in the United States, a development that could increase supply and reduce the risk of shortages like the one that occurred in 2004.
The manufacturer, CSL Ltd., an Australian company that makes flu vaccine sold in about 40 countries, is expected to announce today that it is planning to enter the American market.
The chief executive of CSL, Brian A. McNamee, said the company would begin trials in the United States this year and hopes to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration in time to supply some shots for the 2007-8 flu season.
CSL said it hoped to supply as many as 20 million shots a year to the United States after it completed an expansion of its Australian manufacturing plant, probably in time for the flu season of 2008-9. Federal health officials have been trying to increase and diversify the supply of seasonal flu vaccines to avoid a repeat of the shortage in 2004, when Chiron's factory in Liverpool, England, was suddenly closed by British regulators because of sanitary problems, depriving the United States of about half its expected supply.
Greater production capacity for seasonal flu vaccines would also increase the amount of vaccine that could be made for an influenza pandemic, should one occur.
In 2004, Chiron, based in Emeryville, Calif., was one of only two major suppliers of flu vaccine. Last year, GlaxoSmithKline, based in London, entered the American market. The supply expanded to about 86 million doses, though there were still some spot shortages because Chiron's output fell short of its expectations.
Next year there might be as many as 120 million doses, because Chiron hopes to produce more, and Glaxo, which acquired a Canadian vaccine maker, is planning to increase its supply vastly.
CSL sells flu vaccine under its name in 16 countries and supplies bulk vaccine to Berna Biotech, a Swiss company, which sells vaccine in 24 countries.

www.nytimes.com/2006/02/07/business/w...
*****************************
CSL
CSL and Berna have signed an exclusive commercialisation and licence agreement for Aerugen® in Australia and New Zealand. Aerugen® is a vaccine for the prophylaxis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients and is expected to be launched in Europe in the year 2007.( www.csl.com.au )
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Update 24-01-2006.

R&D for Avian/Pandemic Influenza Vaccines by IFPMA Influenza Supply International Task Force (IVS ITF) members.

www.ifpma.org/pdf/avian_pandemic_infl...

Flupan linkje:
www.nibsc.ac.uk/spotlight/fluplan/ind...
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Genes of deadly bird flu reveal Chinese origin
22:00 06 February 2006


The H5N1 flu virus has been circulating continuously in poultry in south-eastern China for a decade, scientists have found. A massive genetic analysis shows the virus has mainly been spread by poultry, but also that wild birds carried it from southeast China to Turkey.

Yi Guan and colleagues at Shantou University, plus scientists in Xiamen and Hong Kong, say the only way to stop the virus is to control it in southeast China. The Chinese authorities have denied the country is the epicentre of the virus and opposed independent flu research.

The researchers analysed samples taken from 13,000 migratory birds and 50,000 market poultry in southeast China between January 2004 and June 2005, when the Chinese government banned independent sampling. In the markets, they found H5N1 in about 2% of apparently healthy ducks and geese, and some chickens, in all but two of the months in the sampling period.

The genetic make-up of the virus differed slightly between Guangdong, Hunan and Yunnan provinces, forming distinct geographic clusters. But they all descend from a 1996 Guangdong virus, and show the greatest genetic variation in Guangdong and neighbouring Guangxi and Hunan, showing they have been there longest.

Divergent strains
Robert Webster of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, US, a co-author of the paper, says this shows the virus originated in those provinces, and has been circulating in the region ever since, long enough to evolve divergent strains.

These strains then “colonised” neighbouring areas. Viruses from Vietnam and Thailand match Guangdong viruses, while Indonesia has its own related cluster. Genes from Vietnamese viruses reveal repeated introductions from Guangxi, most recently in 2005. This contrasts with past insistence by Chinese officials that H5N1 exists only in isolated cases in China, and did not necessarily originate there.

The existence of distinct clusters also means the main carriers cannot be wide-ranging birds – instead, most transmission is via local poultry movements. Co-author Malik Peiris, of the University of Hong Kong, told New Scientist: “If there had been repeated waves of virus introduced into, for example, Yunnan, one would expect multiple sub-lineages of the virus. But in each place there is only one.”

Long distance transmission
But wild birds are involved. The team found H5N1 in six apparently-healthy migratory ducks at Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, which borders Guangdong and Hunan, in January and March 2005, before the northward migration. The isolates had all the genes, and certain specific mutations, later found in geese at Qinghai Lake, 1700 kilometres northwest. And this virus, notes Peiris, is very like H5N1 in Turkey.

The team also tested whether the Poyang viruses would make ducks too sick to fly by infecting young mallards. “Most got a bit sick then recovered,” says Webster, and all shed virus for up to a week. “The evidence is now overwhelming that migrating birds can move H5N1 over long distances,” says Peiris. “But they are not the scapegoats for maintaining H5N1 within poultry. There the cause and solution lies within the poultry industry.”

Another important finding of the research is that antibodies to each sub-lineage of H5N1 did not bind readily to other sub-lineages. That means vaccinating people or birds against one strain may not protect against others. The team warns that H5N1 pandemic vaccines should be developed using several strains, and constantly updated.

But to head off the threat of a human pandemic, the authors insist “the source of the virus in southern China must be contained”. Webster adds: “Let’s be optimistic that [the Chinese authorities] will accept that this thing is out there. It is terribly important to realise that perfectly healthy looking birds have this damn virus.”

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0511120103)
www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn...
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WHO Criticized for Withholding Information Regarding Human to Human Transmission of Avian Bird Flu

This new forum has gained a lot attention since Dr. Niman recently released commentaries warning that human to human transmission has now become more efficient and the WHO’s failure to provide important information is cause for concern.

(PRWEB) February 6, 2006 -- Avian Flu Talk recently announced the launch of its highly successful H5N1 bird flu discussion forum. The new forum is growing rapidly each day as it is now approaching 400 members in the last 90 days.

The site recently created a new forum that is dedicated to discussing commentaries issued by leading expert of infectious diseases, Dr. Henry Niman, founder of the website Recombinomics.com. This new forum has gained a lot attention since Dr. Niman recently released commentaries warning that human to human transmission has now become more efficient and the WHO’s failure to provide important information is cause for concern.

“H5N1 is expanding its geographical reach via migratory birds and expanding its host range via acquisition of genetic changes by recombining its genetic information with other flu viruses,” said Dr. Henry Niman of Recombinomics, Inc.

“The outbreaks in Turkey are expanding into neighboring countries, but this region lacks transparency. The WHO is withholding important information regarding onset dates and relationships between infected people. The data indicate H5N1 transmission to humans is becoming more efficient, and these developments are not being covered well in the popular media,” Dr. Henry Niman said.

Dr. Niman fears that the bird flu virus may soon undergo the final genetic mutation which will result in sustained human to human transmission.

“Some of the genetic changes, which allow H5N1 to grow more efficiently at lower temperatures or bind to human receptors more efficiently, are too detailed for many of the media reports”, said Dr. Niman.

Since adding Dr. Niman’s commentaries to the Avian Flu Talk forum, the website has truly become a great source for receiving the latest bird flu news. Forums like Avian Flu Talk allow for discussion of ongoing developments, almost in real time, and provide a useful function for educating the public.

To view this very popular new discussion forum, visit www.AvianFluTalk.com


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