Funding: Avian flu research
19 June 2006
Researchers are working with adults who have recovered from infection by the potentially lethal H5N1 strain of avian flu, to develop antibodies that it is hoped could be used in the fight against H5N1 infection.
Based at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and led by Dr Cameron Simmons, the work is part of is part of an international effort to find a new way of rapidly generating antibodies from human cells to recognise and fight the infection.
The research collaboration involved has been awarded £385 000 by the Wellcome Trust as part of an initiative to 'fast-track' research into human and avian influenza.
H5N1 strains of the influenza virus have caused disease in millions of poultry across the globe, especially in the last three years.
Occasionally, the H5N1 influenza virus has been transmitted to humans, often fatally. The virus still remains hard for people to catch, but researchers across the globe are working to develop a vaccine and treatments in case the virus mutates into a form easily transmitted among humans.