Cell-cultured bird flu vaccine
The University Of Maryland School Of Medicine is looking into a bird flu vaccine which is cultured in laboratory-grown cells and not traditionally with chicken eggs.
An advantage of this new method is the ability to produce large amounts of vaccine – drug companies would not be limited by the supply of specialised chicken eggs used for the manufacture of traditional flu vaccines.
The vaccine being tested is made from a virus grown in a line of kidney cells originally taken from African green monkeys, which are now self-propagating. According to Dr James Campbell, the lead investigator on the study, as many of the kidney cells as needed can be cultured.
“It is somewhat quicker than growing it in eggs and there is essentially no limit to the amount of cells, the number of cells you can infect, whereas with eggs there is a limit,” said Campbell.
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