Swine flu vaccine prototype step closer11th May 2009
Health Secretary Alan Johnson has described the work by UK scientists in deciphering swine flu's genetic code as a "significant step".
Researchers at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) are using European samples in order to find the "full genetic fingerprint" of the strain.
Alan Johnson said on a visit to the NIBSC: "The speed with which vaccine prototypes can be created to combat potential pandemics is testimony to the dedication and world-class expertise of Health Protection Agency researchers."
The Health Protection Agency said that it has given pure samples of the virus to researchers investigating a vaccine for swine flu.
This will help scientists to draw comparisons between the European strain of the virus with the type infecting people in Mexico and the US, and find out how it affects the immune system.
Professor Maria Zambon, director of the HPA Centre for Infections, said they were finding out more each day.
"The pure sample of virus that we have isolated, together with its genetic fingerprint, will be important resources as scientific organisations join forces on the development of an effective vaccine."
"The rapid assessment of this virus will ultimately help us to make future decisions regarding the health implications of swine flu."
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Title: Swine flu vaccine prototype step closer
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 11315
Date Added: 11th May 2009