Sept 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In a human trial in China, a whole-virus H5N1 avian influenza vaccine generated an immune response with a relatively low dose of antigen, suggesting that it could be used to immunize more people than may be possible with some other vaccines under development.The study, published online today in The Lancet, showed an adequate immune response in 78% of volunteers after two 10-microgram (mcg) doses of the vaccine plus an aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant. That exceeds the European Union’s requirement of an acceptable response (a hemagglutinin-inhibition titer of 40 or more) in 70% of volunteers.The vaccine is made by Sinovac Biotech in Beijing, China, from an inactivated strain of H5N1 known as Vietnam/1194/2004. The report says that Sinovac was involved in designing and monitoring the study but played no role in collecting the data or writing the report.The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study involved 120 adults (aged 18 to 60). They were divided into five groups of 24, with each group receiving either a placebo or 1.25, 2.5, 5, or 10 mcg of the vaccine.Each volunteer received the vaccine on the first day of the study and 28 days later. Serum samples were assessed for evidence of an immune response on days 0, 14, 28, 42, and 56.An antibody response was seen after the first injection at all dose levels. The highest response (78% seropositivity) was seen in the 10-mcg group after two doses.The investigators reported that all four doses were well tolerated, even though whole-virion vaccines are generally thought to cause more reactions than split-virion vaccines. No serious reactions were reported, and most local and systemic reactions were mild and brief. Three people dropped out of the study, and one person was excluded from the final analysis.The authors concluded that the dose required to reach an acceptable immune response was much lower than for vaccines reported in previous studies. Two reports published earlier this year described trials of a split-virus H5N1 vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur. The reports said two 90-mcg doses of nonadjuvanted vaccine or two 30-mcg doses of adjuvanted vaccine were required to produce the desired immune response.(In July, GlaxoSmithKline reported a good immune response in 80% of volunteers who received a dose of only 3.8 mcg of the company’s adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine. However, a full report of those findings has not yet been published.)”The manufacturing capacity for an H5N1 vaccine would increase if a whole-virion vaccine is used, because 20% to 30% of vaccine antigen is expected to be lost during the disruption process in the preparation of split-virion vaccines, according to our experience with seasonal influenza vaccine,” the Chinese researchers write.In an accompanying commentary, Iain Stephenson, MD, of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary in Leicester, England, writes that the findings point up of “a potential dose-sparing approach that could be crucial for a global supply of pandemic vaccine.”He says that trial results for split-virion H5N1 vaccines have been disappointing, because within current manufacturing constraints, the two such vaccines under development would yield only enough to vaccinate 75 million to 225 million people.Though whole-virion vaccines generally produce a better immune response than split or subunit vaccines, development of whole-virion H5N1 vaccines has been delayed, Stephenson writes. He says it is difficult for manufacturers that produce split seasonal vaccines to switch production approaches and processing methods.Stephenson cautions that whole-virion vaccines have been associated with febrile reactions in children and emphasizes that careful investigation is needed before such vaccines can be widely used.It remains to be seen whether whole-virion vaccines can induce the broad cross-reactive response that would be needed to treat a variety of H5N1 viruses, Stephenson writes.Lin J, Zhang J, Dong X, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated adjuvanted whole-virion influenza A (H5N1) vaccine: a phase 1 randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2006 (early online publication, Sep 7) [Abstract (registration required)]Stephenson I. H5N1 vaccines: how prepared are we for a pandemic? (Commentary). Lancet 2006 (early online publication, Sep 7)See also:May 12 CIDRAP News story “Sanofi reports results for H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant”Jul 26 CIDRAP News story “Glaxo says its H5N1 vaccine works at low dose”
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No, Solid Snake Isn’t Coming to ‘Tekken’Watch These Fighting Games at EVO 2019 Stay on target During the same weekend game journalists were putting the finishing touches on their Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite reviews and opinion pieces, Bandai Namco decided to release a beta for Dragon Ball FighterZ. Was this intentional? It’s unclear, but I’d like to believe it was. If that’s the case, then kudos to you, Bandai Namco. Your troll game is strong.When not occupied with my Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite piece, I got some decent quality time with Dragon Ball FighterZ. Unlike the ten (or so) minutes I spent playing Dragon Ball FighterZ at this year’s E3, I spent many hours with Arc System Works’ upcoming fighter this weekend. Like I said in my hands-on preview, this is the Dragon Ball Z game fans have waited decades for. After playing through the beta, I am now one hundred percent convinced my initial assertion was correct. This game will blow people away.The beta was about as bare bones as you could imagine. After you selected your region and a lobby within said region, you were transported to a small hub world with other players. Here, you selected your roster of fighters, their colors, and the background stage and music. After that, players could either spectate matches, view replays of others’ bouts, or fight against each other.Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the most wildly over-the-top fighting games I’ve ever experienced. Arc System Works — the same folks behind the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue franchises — has done a tremendous job of capturing the frenetic action of the animated series. Confusion is possible for players not familiar with fighting games or Dragon Ball Z. If you’re familiar with both, then you’ll have no trouble making sense of the on-screen chaos.During the E3 demo, I had no clue what I was doing. I basically button mashed my way through fights and prayed for the best. This time, fellow gamers watching my livestream gave me pointers on how to fight. Thanks to them, I learned how to perform basic combos and super moves. I didn’t have a complete grasp of the game’s mechanics, but I did improve over time with the little knowledge I did have.This demo had a larger roster of characters than the one from E3. There was the originally revealed Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Frieza, Perfect Cell, and Buu. Joining them in this beta were Android 18, Trunks, Android 16, Piccolo, and Krillin. Despite so many characters to choose from, most selected Saiyans. I would scold them for that, but my team largely consisted of Saiyans too. I did try out every character eventually, though. While most played identically, each had enough unique special and super moves to make them distinct.Despite my clumsiness, I still had a blast playing. While there are some canned combos, I was largely able to create my own on the fly. I got a deep sense of satisfaction from chaining standard combos into super attacks. I appreciated how seamlessly combos flowed into one another. Some opponents were so adept at chaining combos that I couldn’t escape their multi-hit air combos. Even when things became somewhat unfair, I knew that, given enough time and practice, I could pull off spectacular combos myself.Betas exist for developers to stress test their titles with actual players. They aren’t inherently feature rich. With that said, I found it perplexing that there wasn’t a tutorial or training mode. Though it shares the DNA of previous Arc System Works titles, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a brand-new game. Since that’s the case, a tutorial breaking down basic functions or a training mode to test combos was necessary. With no tutorial or training modes, players were left to divine the game’s mechanics on their own.For the most part, I had no issues playing online. The netcode isn’t on the level of Street Fighter IV, and there were certainly times where the connection was less than ideal. Despite some random connection hiccups, things never got to the point where the game became unplayable. The only time I saw heavy dips in quality (and frame rates) was during the final hour of the final beta on Sunday. I’ll assume everyone was jumping into the game to get one final crack at it. Overall, I think DBF has decent netcode. I’ll chalk up any hitches I encountered to this being a beta. However, I do hope things improve with the final game.Bandai Namco promises to release another beta sometime in January. I want to see an even more stable online experience, more characters to choose from, and of course, some type of training/tutorial mode. This beta was relatively small, so I hope the upcoming one includes more users. I also hope to improve my skills since some of these online dudes were ridiculously good. I want to unleash my own insane combos on unsuspecting players!My excitement for Dragon Ball FighterZ has only increased thanks to this beta, so I look forward to the next one. In the meantime, I’ll entertain myself with Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite. It’s a great time for fighting game fans, isn’t it?Dragon Ball FighterZ is set to release in February 2018 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.