4 Nov 2010 12:50

ABO to develop vaccine for new Bunia virus - correction

Shanghai. November 4. INTERFAX-CHINA - China's Alliance of Bio-Box Outsourcing (ABO) plans to develop a vaccine against a new strain of Bunia virus, the organization announced Nov. 3.

According to the announcement, the ABO members involved include the National Vaccine and Serum Institute (NVSI), the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products, and the Virus Prevention and Control Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The participants will cooperate on preliminary microbiological, epidemiological and immunological research of the virus.

"NVSI will provide the virus strains for the research. It is probably the first research of such a vaccine to be conducted in China," Wang Lu, a spokesman for ABO, told Interfax Nov. 4.

The fatality rate of the new Bunia virus is thought to be as high as 10 percent, the announcement said.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in September stated it believes that the unidentified tick-borne disease which has caused 18 deaths in Henan Province, as previously reported by Interfax, is a new virus strain from the Bunyaviridae family. This group consists of more than 200 viruses and though generally found in arthropods or rodents, some can infect humans.

ABO is a non-profit biopharmaceutical alliance under the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission. It currently has approximately 40 members.

- MS

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of deaths caused by the virus. This has now been amended.