H7N9 Avian Influenza
The A(H7N9) virus
Influenza A H7 viruses are a group of influenza viruses that normally circulate among birds. The influenza A(H7N9) virus is one subgroup among the larger group of H7 viruses. Although some H7 viruses (H7N2, H7N3 and H7N7) have occasionally been found to infect humans, no human infections with H7N9 viruses have been reported until March 2013, when three urban residents of Shanghai or Anhui, China, presented with rapidly progressing lower respiratory tract infections and were found to be infected with a novel reassortant avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) virus.
Developing a vaccine
There is currently no vaccine for the prevention of avian influenza A(H7N9) infections although at least four biopharmaceutical companies have candidates that are being tested in animal and human trials. (Wu YL, Shen L-W, Ding Y-P. Preliminary success in the characterization and management of a sudden breakout of a novel H7N9 influenza A virus. International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2014, volume 10, number 1, pages 109-118. Full text : Bart SA. et al. A Cell Culture–Derived MF59-Adjuvanted Pandemic A/H7N9 Vaccine Is Immunogenic in Adults. Sci Transl Med 30 April 2014: Vol. 6, Issue 234, p. 234ra55 Full text )