The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture says that China now has a “solid technical guarantee” for controlling avian influenza, after developing three kinds of new avian influenza vaccines and a new technology for diagnosing the disease.
The new vaccines, designed to be used together for greatest effect, were developed by the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory (AIRL).
Professor Chen Hualan, director of the AIRL, said that though the three new vaccines are not yet in production, they have been proved very effective in prevention and control of the avian influenza epidemic. Nine companies have been appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture to produce the vaccines.
According to the ministry, China led the world in developing the H5N1 mark inactivated vaccine. This vaccine will allow the serological differentiation of vaccinated from infected chickens.
China promoted the use of its first vaccine product, an avian influenza inactivated vaccine (H5N2 subtype ) in 2004 when the highly pathogenic avian broke out in the country.
Scientists used reverse genetics to alter the genome sequence in the original vaccine to construct further vaccines. According to Chen, the three vaccines included the reverse genetics inactivated vaccine (H5N1), H5N1 recombinant fowlpox vaccine, and recombinant bivalent avian influenza-Newcastle disease live vaccine.
The newly developed rapid diagnostic strip for detecting H5 avian influenza virus can detect H5 subtype avian influenza viruses in just over 10 minutes, which will be of great importance for a rapid control of bird flu epidemic in China.
China has reported 18 cases of human infection of bird flu since last November with 12 fatalities. The last case was confirmed on April 27. Globally, 225 human infections, including 128 deaths, have been recorded, according to World Health Organisation statistics.
The central government is strengthening prevention and control of bird flu although no new human cases have been confirmed for more than a month, a health official said Monday.
And the ministry also started a national check this week on the implementation of the immunisation policy in most areas of the country. The Chinese government believes the immunisation measures, will lower the possibility of a large-scale outbreak in the country.