The Type A H1N1 virus has now been found in a Canadian swine herd, and an Iowa State University researcher is working on a related vaccine to protect the pig population.
"Now that H1N1 virus is in pigs, we're seeking funding to conduct a proof-of-concept study to demonstrate how rapidly we can produce an effective and safe vaccine for pigs," says Hank Harris, DVM, professor in animal science and veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine.
Harris' start-up company at the Iowa State Research Park, Harrisvaccines, uses a technology that is much faster for producing vaccines than traditional methods. The technique, called RNA Backbone, was developed for human use by a North Carolina company called Alphavax. Harrisvaccines has adapted it for pigs. Through this process Harris needs only the virus' genetic information, which is easily available. The new H1N1 virus, for instance, has already been genetically mapped and is already available on the Web and in the public domain.
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