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New Strategy Stretches Bird Flu Vaccine

Researchers say more people could be protected in possible pandemic

THURSDAY, Aug. 16, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- A new way to boost production of bird flu vaccine to help contain any future pandemic is detailed in a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

The strategy involves combining vaccine with an oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant. Using the adjuvant stretches the supply of vaccine.

Belgian researchers tested four antigen doses given with or without the oil-water adjuvant in eight groups of 50 volunteers, aged 18 to 60. The results showed that all the adjuvanted vaccine doses produced much stronger immune responses than the non-adjuvanted vaccine doses.

People who received the adjuvanted vaccine produced up to six times as many bird flu virus antibodies, compared to same dose of a non-adjuvanted vaccine, according to lead researcher Dr. Geert Leroux-Roels, director of the Centre for Vaccinology, Ghent University and Hospital.

The adjuvanted vaccines did cause more injection site symptoms and general symptoms, most of which were mild to moderate and temporary.

The researchers wrote that the adjuvanted vaccine "represents significant antigen sparing that could increase the number of recipients of the pandemic influenza vaccine."

More information

The World Health Organization has more about bird flu.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Aug. 16, 2007
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