Bird flu may be possible from human to human through air

Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature — Research provides insight into feasibility of virus becoming airborne transmissible – It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found. The findings, from research led by Professor Derek Smith and Dr Colin Russell at the University of Cambridge, were published today, 22 June in the journal Science.

Bird Flu rears its head again

Bird Flu rears its head again — Increased preparedness and surveillance urged against variant strain — Major resurgence H5N1 possible – UN FAO recently urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza amid signs that a mutant strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading in Asia and beyond, with unpredictable risks to human health.

Virus hybridization could create pandemic bird flu

Virus hybridization could create pandemic bird flu – Genetic interactions between avian H5N1 influenza and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability of H1N1, according to a new study.

Insect cells provide the key to alternative swine flu vaccination

Insect cells provide the key to alternative swine flu vaccination — New production method can meet the demand of a global flu pandemic – Scientists in Vienna have developed a new technique for producing vaccines for H1N1, ‘swine flu’, based on insect cells. The research, published today in the Biotechnology Journal, reveals how influenza vaccines can be produced faster than through the traditional method of egg-based production, revealing a new strategy for the fight against influenza pandemics.

H1N1 vaccine Focetria receives positive opinion from CHMP

Novartis A(H1N1) Pandemic Influenza vaccine Focetria? receives positive opinion from CHMP – Novartis announced that Focetria, the Novartis Influenza A(H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine, has received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

Avian influenza increases Parkinson’s disease risk

St. Jude scientists report flu infection leaves brain more vulnerable later in life — Avian influenza strain primes brain for Parkinson’s disease. – At least one strain of the H5N1 avian influenza virus leaves survivors at significantly increased risk for Parkinson’s disease and possibly other neurological problems later in life, according to new research from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

10 early lessons learned from H1N1 outbreak

New Report Finds 10 Early Lessons Learned from the H1N1 Outbreak – A new report – The Pandemic Flu: Lessons from the Frontlines – reviews 10 early lessons learned from the response to the H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak, 10 ongoing core vulnerabilities in U.S. pandemic flu preparedness.

Swine flu vaccine candidate prepared by UK

A crucial step towards large scale production of a vaccine against swine flu has been completed in the UK by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), part of the Health Protection Agency. – A strain of virus suitable for vaccine manufacture has now been produced and is being made available to the pharmaceutical industry and other flu laboratories.

GSK to manufacture A H1N1 influenza vaccine

GSK has received orders from several governments aiming to stockpile a new candidate A (H1N1) adjuvanted influenza vaccine as a precautionary measure – Company to manufacture the new vaccine, once virus seed is made available by the WHO. – GSK is committed to supporting governments and health authorities around the world to respond to the emergence of the new A (H1N1) influenza strain.

Health Newstrack