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Published On: Wed, Sep 18th, 2013

H7N9 avian influenza vaccine candidate in clinical trials: NIH

Researchers at nine sites nationwide have begun testing in humans an investigational H7N9 avian influenza vaccine, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) news release today.

This diagram depicts the origins of the H7N9 virus from China and shows how the virus's genes came from other influenza viruses in birds. Image/CDC

This diagram depicts the origins of the H7N9 virus from China and shows how the virus’s genes came from other influenza viruses in birds. Image/CDC

The two concurrent Phase II clinical trials, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, are designed to gather critical information about the safety of the candidate vaccine and the immune system responses it induces when administered at different dosages and with or without adjuvants, substances designed to boost the body’s immune response to vaccination.

Further information about both clinical trials can be found at http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov using the identifiers:NCT01938742 and NCT01942265.

“H7N9 avian influenza virus — like all novel influenza virus strains to which people have not been exposed — has the potential to cause widespread sickness and mortality,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “We are now testing a vaccine candidate with and without adjuvant in an effort to prepare for and, hopefully, protect against this possibility.”

Human cases of H7N9 influenza first emerged in China in February 2013, with the majority of reported infections occurring in the spring. As of Aug. 12, 135 confirmed human cases, including 44 deaths, have been reported by the World Health Organization.

Most of these cases involved people who came into contact with infected poultry. Although no H7N9 influenza cases have been reported outside of China and the virus has not demonstrated sustained person-to-person transmission, there is concern that it could mutate to pose a much greater public health threat.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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