Microbiology Lab One Step Closer to H1N1 Vaccine

By Sarah Klein

H1N1 Flu VirusCanada’s National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg is one step closer to creating a vaccine for the dreaded H1N1 flu virus.

Canadian scientists have completed work decoding the genetic makeup of the virus, Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq said on Wednesday.

“The world’s knowledge of the H1N1 flu virus has taken a significant step forward thanks to the excellent work done at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory,” said Minister Aglukkaq.

“This is an important achievement for our scientists as it marks the first successful sequencing of virus samples from different countries,” said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. “Our researchers should be commended for completing this important work in less than a week. This is one of the Lab’s finest hours.”

The laboratory completed sequencing of H1N1 virus samples taken from Mexico, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

So far there is only one confirmed case of the virus in Manitoba. Last week officials announced a female student at Riverheights School in Brandon between the ages of 10 and 19-years-old had a mild case of the virus, but has since recovered. We learned earlier this week that the student is in grade 8.

— With files from a news release