Bird Flu Planning: Research at SLU Will Impact Pandemic Strategy
Saint Louis University Studies Investigational Vaccine for Avian Influenza
ST.LOUIS - To protect people from a potential bird flu pandemic, Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development is conducting a study of an investigational vaccine for avian influenza supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
|Sharon Frey, M.D.|
Researchers will compare multiple strengths of an investigational H5N1 flu shot given with or without an adjuvant, which is a substance that stimulates the immune system to produce more infection-fighting antibodies.
The findings could be critical in stretching supplies of avian influenza vaccine to protect more people in case of a bird flu pandemic, says Sharon Frey, M.D., clinical director of SLU's Center for Vaccine Development and principal investigator.
"Planning is very important if we are to control the spread of the bird flu virus, which scientists are concerned could cause a pandemic," Frey said.
"Our study findings will help determine how strong a dose of vaccine is needed for the body to form antibodies that fight avian influenza," Frey said. "We also are looking at whether an adjuvant helps the body make more antibodies to fight the bird flu virus, which could mean we won't have to give as much vaccine to trigger a potent immune reaction."
The trial will recruit up to 240 healthy adults nationally. Approximately 60 people are expected to participate in this study at Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development, one of eight Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH.
The trial also is being conducted at Emory Children's Center in Atlanta; The Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center in Decatur, Ga.; University of Iowa; and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
It also is supported by the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA).
To learn more about vaccine research being conducted at Saint Louis University, call 314-977-6333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the forefront of research in fighting and preventing infectious diseases, Saint Louis University has received federal funding as a Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit for two decades. One of eight NIAID-funded vaccine research centers, Saint Louis University evaluates new and improved vaccines for diseases such as influenza and novel ways of delivering them.