Availability of a new recombinant A(H5N1) vaccine virus

14 July 2010


A new recombinant A(H5N1) vaccine virus has been developed by the National Institute of Virology, Pune, India and the WHO Collaborating Center for the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Control of Influenza at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, from A/chicken/India/NIV33487/2006 (H5N1;clade 2.2) The new recombinant vaccine virus named A/India/NIV/2006(H5N1)-PR8-IBCDC-RG7 is available for distribution. As with all seasonal and A(H5N1) influenza viruses selected by WHO and used for vaccine development, the sequence of the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) of the A/chicken/India/NIV33487/2006 can be found on a public website:

The cleavage motif of the wild type HA was modified from PQGERRRKKR↓GLF to PQGETR↓GLF which resembles that of low pathogenicity viruses.

Institutions, companies and others interested in pandemic vaccine development, who wish to receive these candidate vaccine viruses should contact either the WHO Global Influenza Programme at or one of the organizations shown below:

Dr. Ruben Donis Dr A C Mishra
Influenza Division, NCIRD, OID Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute of Virology
1600 Clifton Rd., MS G-16 Pune 411001
Atlanta, GA 30333 India
USA Tel +912026006201
Fax: (404) 639-2350 Fax +912026122669
E-mail: E-mail:

Antigenic analysis of A/India/NIV/2006(H5N1)-PR8-IBCDC-RG7(H5N1) by haemagglutination inhibition with ferret antisera indicated that it maintained the characteristics of the wild type progenitor virus.

The Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN) has been closely monitoring the antigenic and genetic evolution of the circulating viruses, especially viruses that infect humans. Countries are encouraged to share with WHO their specimens and/or isolates, both from humans and animals, in order to be included in the WHO H5N1 vaccine virus selection and development programme, in addition to other activities of public health significance.