“Cell culture technology could represent the future of influenza vaccine production,” said virologist John Oxford of The Queen Mary School of Medicine in London.
Scientists had previously been using chicken eggs but they found it difficult to obtain the right type and observed that the virus, H5N1, kills chickens rapidly.
Cell-based vaccines would require less advance planning and could be made year-round, it was reported.
Baxter also has created a seasonal flu vaccine made in cells instead of eggs.
The vaccine, called Celvapan, is made in the Czech Republic.
Because it is not possible to test whether the vaccine actually prevents infection, the researchers measured antibodies in their volunteers in Austria and Singapore. They said it induced an immune response similar to the body's defence against a natural virus infection.
Monkey cells for bird flu vaccine
A former co-worker on R-3 with slightly paranoid inclinations used to talk about a fanciful doomsday scenario in which Avian Influenza would kill all the birds, and people wouldn't have anything to grow flu vaccine in (since flu vaccine is currently produced in eggs). Well, now some researchers report success using monkey cells for vaccine.