UI Vaccine Unit to test vaccine for a potentially lethal strain of flu
Friday, September 20, 2013
Vaccine research specialists with University of Iowa Health Care, in
collaboration with colleagues across the country, are preparing for the
potential pandemic spread of a new bird flu strain (H7N9) that caused
severe disease in China last spring.
The UI team and researchers from the seven other National Institutes
of Health (NIH)-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units will test
vaccines to protect against the illness in adults.
"The H7N9 strain has never circulated in human populations so our immune
systems are not primed to respond to this virus," says Dr. Patricia Winokur, UI professor of internal medicine, director of the UI Vaccine Research and Education Project,
and principal investigator of the vaccine study at the UI. "This means
that if this virus can acquire the ability to spread from human to
human, the world population would be very vulnerable and a pandemic with
high mortality could ensue."
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