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Vaccine. 1998 May-Jun;16(9-10):960-8.

Development of a mammalian cell (Vero) derived candidate influenza virus vaccine.

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Biomedical Research Center, Baxter-Immuno, Austria.


Influenza vaccine production is dependent on the availability of embryonated hen eggs for virus growth. This is an extremely cumbersome system with many disadvantages with respect to selection of virus variants and presence of adventitious viruses. We have developed an alternative cell culture system which allows rapid production of large volumes of vaccine. The World Health Organisation (WHO) approved Vero cell line was used in serum-free culture to grow a multitude of influenza strains to high titre. This system could be scaled-up to allow vaccine production with a 1200 litre fermenter volume. A purification scheme was developed which resulted in a high purity whole virus vaccine. This was demonstrated to be at least as immunogenic as a conventional egg-derived preparation in a mouse model.

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