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Viruses. 2010 Feb;2(2):532-46. doi: 10.3390/v2020532. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Developing vaccines to combat pandemic influenza.

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Division of Virology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Health Protection Agency, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, EN6 3QG, UK; E-Mail: (O.G.E.).


Influenza vaccine manufacturers require antigenically relevant vaccine viruses that have good manufacturing properties and are safe to use. In developing pandemic vaccine viruses, reverse genetics has been employed as a rational approach that can also be used effectively to attenuate the highly virulent H5N1 virus and at the same time place the H5 HA and N1 NA on a background of PR8, a virus that has been used over many decades to provide high yielding vaccine viruses. Reverse genetics has also been used successfully alongside classical reassorting techniques in the development of (swine flu) pandemic A(H1N1)v vaccine viruses.


H1N1v virus; H5N1 virus; pandemic influenza vaccines; reverse genetics

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