Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast method for preparing flu vaccine: Use bioreactors instead of chicken eggs

Date:
December 11, 2009
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researchers have developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilized chicken eggs, which have a limited availability.

A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researcher Manon Cox has developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilised chicken eggs, which have a limited availability.

Manon Cox will be conferred with a PhD at Wageningen University, Netherlands, on 9 December on the strength of a thesis on this subject.

The prompt availability of sufficient suitable vaccine is always a problem when facing the outbreak of a flu epidemic. At the moment, it takes three to six months to produce a vaccine to counter a new strain of flu virus using chicken's eggs. Moreover, there is no possibility of expanding production capacity in the event of a pandemic as the limited availability of fertilised chicken's eggs needed for production inevitably becomes an insurmountable problem.

Cox's new process demonstrates that it is possible to make a vaccine available in commercial quantities within 45 days. The new production method makes use of a baculovirus that multiplies only inside insect cells, and which cannot spread in vertebrates. The insect cells produce huge quantities of so-called HA proteins, which mobilise the immune system into fighting the flu virus.

The aspect that most slows down the production of vaccine according to the conventional method is the need for fertilised chicken eggs. Furthermore, this creates extra problems if the flu virus is also capable of infecting birds (as was the case in the Netherlands in 2003), as the egg production often grinds to a halt. In addition, the vaccines produced are not suitable for people with an egg allergy. The new production process using insect cells can be used on a large scale, at all times and simultaneously at various locations throughout the world. The process can easily be adapted to new influenza strains and enhance pandemic preparedness.

Meanwhile, the new production process has already been put through clinical trials involving three different strains of flu virus in 460 healthy people. None of the test subjects injected with the vaccine developed symptoms of flu, while 4.6% of those taking part in the control group contracted the disease naturally. Three follow-on studies involving approximately 3,000 people showed no striking or frequent side-effects. The vaccine also appears to protect people from influenza viruses that have undergone genetic changes and in more than 50% of cases, it results in better antibody production than the flu vaccines currently available.

Vaccines for the flu virus contain the HA protein (haemagglutinin) which, once in the bloodstream, puts the body in a state of high alert. The protein also stimulates the production of flu-specific antibodies. The same protein is found on the surface of a flu virus. When a vaccinated person encounters a flu virus , the antibodies produced attach to the proteins on the surface of the virus and inactivate the virus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Fast method for preparing flu vaccine: Use bioreactors instead of chicken eggs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091209193506.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2009, December 11). Fast method for preparing flu vaccine: Use bioreactors instead of chicken eggs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091209193506.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Fast method for preparing flu vaccine: Use bioreactors instead of chicken eggs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091209193506.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) The U.S. currently isn't banning travel from Ebola-stricken areas, but it's at least being considered. Some argue though it could be counterproductive. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins