The American Veterinary Medical Association is to resume its studies on the H5N1 avian influenza following a year-long moratorium.
The moratorium was declared in January 2012 following release of details of experiments conducted by scientist at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison involving laboratory manipulation of genes. It was claimed that insertion of specific genes into the avian virus resulted in transmission to a mammalian host.
It is anticipated that the National Institute of Health will fund research into H5N1 AIV after the twelve month moratorium. The public health and bioterrorism implications of creating a more virulent or infectious H5N1 strain are self-evident.