The effectiveness of a bird flu vaccine against the deadly H5N1 variety of avian influenza virus will be tested on vaccinated and unvaccinated monkeys, by researchers at two universities.
According to researchers from Shiga University of Medical Science and Hokkaido University, the results are expected to be known within about six months.
The results of the tests could shed light on numerous aspects of the strain's infection mechanism as well as pave the way for a human vaccine.
Kazumasa Ogasawara, a professor at the Shiga school who is in charge of the project said, "The highly virulent H5N1 strain virus could kill mice and chickens when they were infected with it, but it remains unknown what exactly would happen for monkeys."
He said, "Monkeys have immune system cells akin to those of humans, so (the research) should also be useful in devising measures against infection on humans."
Hokkaido University will be testing its vaccine on crab-eating monkeys.