DNA – Armyworm/Baculovirus
- Jan 17, 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first influenza vaccine produced with the help of an insect virus and recombinant DNA technology.
- FluBlok is made using genetic engineering and is a trivalent (three-strain) vaccine developed by Protein Sciences Corp. of Meriden, Conn., was approved for adults ages 18 through 49.
- The only flu virus component it contains is hemagglutinin, the active ingredient, which is produced by infecting cultures of insect cells with a baculovirus that turns them into hemagglutinin factories.
- Flublok uses cells taken from the ovaries of fall armyworms in the pupal stage to crank out its active ingredient — a piece of the flu virus’s outer coat.
- Just one piece of human flu virus is grafted onto an insect virus and it’s grown in the cells of the fall armyworm, known scientifically as Spodoptera frugiperd.