NIAID begins trial of vaccine for avian flu
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 11, 2005
Recruitment has begun for a safety trial of a vaccine to fight H5N1, avian influenza. The trial is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Sites in Baltimore, Los Angeles and Rochester, N.Y., will enroll a total of 450 healthy adults.
"While there have been relatively few cases worldwide of H5N1 avian influenza infection in humans, the public health community is concerned that the virus will develop the capability of efficiently spreading from human to human and thus create a risk for a worldwide pandemic," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD.
The phase 1 trial will test the vaccine's safety and ability to generate an immune response in healthy adults ages 18 to 64. If the vaccine is shown to be safe in adults, there are plans to test it in children and the elderly.
Between January 2004 and March 11, 2005, there were 69 confirmed cases of avian flu and 46 deaths in humans reported to the World Health Organization. To date, there have been only a few cases where human-to-human transmission of the virus may have occurred. But public health experts fear that the virus could evolve into one that is more easily transmitted between people.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/04/11/hlbf0411.htm.