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Virology. 2006 Aug 1;351(2):303-11. Epub 2006 May 11.

The immunogenicity and efficacy against H5N1 challenge of reverse genetics-derived H5N3 influenza vaccine in ducks and chickens.

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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases, Division of Virology, 332 N. Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


H5N1 avian influenza viruses are continuing to spread in waterfowl in Eurasia and to threaten the health of avian and mammalian species. The possibility that highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 avian influenza is now endemic in both domestic and migratory birds in Eurasia makes it unlikely that culling alone will control H5N1 influenza. Because ducks are not uniformly killed by HP H5N1 viruses, they are considered a major contributor to virus spread. Here, we describe a reverse genetics-derived high-growth H5N3 strain containing the modified H5 of A/chicken/Vietnam/C58/04, the N3 of A/duck/Germany/1215/73, and the internal genes of A/PR/8/34. One or two doses of inactivated oil emulsion vaccine containing 0.015 to 1.2 microg of HA protein provide highly efficacious protection against lethal H5N1 challenge in ducks; only the two dose regimen has so far been tested in chickens with high protective efficacy.

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