Availability of a new recombinant A(H5N1) vaccine virus

16 September 2011


A new recombinant influenza A(H5N1) candidate vaccine virus has been developed by WHO Collaborating Center for the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Control of Influenza at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA, from A/Egypt/N03072/2010(H5N1; clade 2.2.1)1. The new recombinant candidate vaccine virus named A/Egypt/N03072/2010(H5N1)-PR8-IDCDC-RG29 is available for distribution. All shipments of this virus will be documented on the Influenza Virus Traceability Mechanism.

As with all seasonal and A(H5N1) influenza viruses selected by WHO and used for vaccine development, the sequence of haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of A/Egypt/N03072/2010(H5N1; clade 2.2.1) can be found on a NCBI public website:

The HA gene sequence from the IDCDC-RG29 vaccine candidate virus can also be found at the NCBI public website:

The cleavage motif of the wild type HA was modified from PQGERRRKKR↓GLF to PQGETR↓GLF in IDCDC-RG29, to resemble that of low pathogenicity avian viruses.

Institutions, companies and others interested in pandemic vaccine development, who wish to receive this candidate vaccine virus should contact either WHO-HQ at or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at the address below:

Dr. Ruben Donis
Influenza Division, NCIRD, OID
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd., MS G-16
Atlanta, GA 30333
Fax: (404) 639-2350

The Global Influenza Surveillance System and Response (GISRS) has been closely monitoring the antigenic and genetic evolution of viruses infecting humans. We thank the Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt for sharing virus specimens with the WHO GISRS.

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 process, in addition to other activities of public health significance.

1 A/Egypt /N03072/2010 is an A/Egypt/1394-NAMRU3/2007-like virus