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CDC reports severe pH1N1-associated illnesses

CDC reports severe pH1N1-associated illnesses | Influenza | Scoop.it
TweetThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported a number of cases of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults infected with the 2009 pandemic flu virus.
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Influenza
Flu in all Forms, Be Informed...Not Panicked.
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Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group

Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group | Influenza | Scoop.it
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Taiwanese health officials confirm two additional lab cases of avian flu

TweetHealth officials in Taiwan recently confirmed two additional cases of avian influenza A (H7N9), marking the third and fourth official cases reported by the Taipei Centers for Disease Control.
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50 Member States meet to discuss influenza surveillance - World Health Organization (press release)

50 Member States meet to discuss influenza surveillance World Health Organization (press release) The highlight of the meeting was the announcement of a new joint publication that will replace the EuroFlu bulletin and the ECDC Weekly Influenza...
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Avian Flu Diary: WHO Update: Influenza at the human-animal interface (H5N1)

Avian Flu Diary: WHO Update: Influenza at the human-animal interface (H5N1) | Influenza | Scoop.it
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Evolution and Ecology of Influenza A Viruses - Springer

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Characterization of the amantadine-resistant H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza variants isolated from quails in Southern China. [Virus Genes. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
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Circulating Avian Influenza Viruses Closely Related to the 1918 Virus Have Pandemic Potential

Circulating Avian Influenza Viruses Closely Related to the 1918 Virus Have Pandemic Potential | Influenza | Scoop.it

Animal influenzas including bird or avian flu are thought to be the reservoir for deadly human strains like one which caused the 1918 pandemic.  Scientists have noted recently that the genes of the avian flu viruses are very similar to the 1918 strain.   Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed this hunch by generating a strain call “1918-like” through combining genes from 8 current circulating avian flu virus strains.


Alarmingly, he found in testing that it has high potential to infect and cause transmission in humans  Further, a mere seven genetic changes is sufficient to generate a strain that is airborne transmissible.


To focus their attention on the genes that contribute mostly to the enhanced infectivity of the “1918-like” strain and the normal avian strains, the researchers went gene by gene. They created systematically strains that had only one gene from the 1918 strain against the genetic background of an otherwise typical avian influenza strain, and were able to show that the genes hemagluttinin (HA) and an RNA polymerase (PB2) are the strongest contributors to the pathogenicity of the human generated “1918-like” strain. The HA gene is what the flu virus uses to latch onto the exterior of a human cell.  The PB2 gene is what the flu uses to manufacture copies of itself.  Both were found to be more efficient in the 1918 and 1918-like strains.


At first the researchers found that the “1918-like” strain was not transmissible.  But with these two important genes in hand, they found that by adding them from the original 1918 strain give rise to transmission. This led them to try generating slight variations of “1918-like” to see whether it was quite easy to make a transmissible strain.


The researchers again focused on the HA and PB2 genes, making a very mutations.  Remarkably, one of their resulting strains, a “1918-like” with a mere 7 genetic changes across 3 genes, could infect and be transmitted their test subjects.


One bright spot in the research is that blood from people who were vaccinated against the more normal, 2009 seasonal flu strain, also react to the dangerous 1918-strains generated in Kawaoka’s laboratory, giving rise to hope that perhaps the population has some protection already. Influenza research of this type requires high level of safety procedures and precautions.  The work carried out by Kawaoka required what is called Biosafety Level 3.  This entails the use of negative pressure hoods, proper safety attire, and restricted access during experimentation.  The highest level is Biosafety Level 4 which is reserved for Ebola and other fast, deadly public health disease agents.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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H7N9 and other pathogenic avian influenza viruses elicit a three-pronged transcriptomic signature that is reminiscent of 1918 influenza and associated with lethal outcome in mice

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Swine Flu Pandemic Analysis Challenges Views on Disease Spread

Swine Flu Pandemic Analysis Challenges Views on Disease Spread | Influenza | Scoop.it
The most detailed analysis to date of the spread of the H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza virus, known informally as ‘swine flu’, has found that short-range travel was likely the primary driver for the 2009 pandemic in the United States, in contrast...
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Death from 1918 pandemic influenza during the First World War: a perspective from personal and anecdotal evidence. [Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2014]

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
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Rescooped by Mel Melendrez-Vallard from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
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Substitution Rates of the Internal Genes in the Novel Avian H7N9 Influenza Virus

TO THE EDITOR—As of 30 May 2013, the novel avian influenza A(H7N9) virus has caused 132 laboratory-confirmed infections, with 37 fatal cases [1]. As the temperature went up, the reported number of infections naturally declined, with only 3 cases reported in May 2013.

As of 4 June 2013, 36 genome sequences of the novel H7N9 viruses have been deposited in the GISAID database (Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data; www.gisaid.org). Using all of the 36 genome sequences, we calculated the nucleotide substitution rates for each of the 8 gene segments with the single likelihood ancestral counting method [2]. Surprisingly, the substitution rates of the internal genes (except for PB2) were very high, with a similar magnitude to those of surface protein coding genes HA and NA (Figure 1A). In particular, the substitution rates of the M2 and NP genes were even higher than those of HA and NA.

 


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Draw Science: PREDICTING THE FLU

Draw Science: PREDICTING THE FLU | Influenza | Scoop.it
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H5N1: Eurosurveillance: Investigations of human-to-human ...

... their transmissibility and evolution. Here's an excerpt from the long editorial by Herfst and Fouchier on Epidemiological and genetic investigations of human-to-human transmission of zoonotic influenza viruses:Of the over...
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Airborne Transmission of Highly Pathogenic H7N1 Influenza Virus in Ferrets

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Conservation of T cell epitopes between seasonal influenza viruses and the novel influenza A H7N9 virus

Conservation of T cell epitopes between seasonal influenza viruses and the novel influenza A H7N9 virus | Influenza | Scoop.it

Abstract: A novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus recently emerged in the Yangtze River delta and caused diseases, often severe, in over 130 people. This H7N9 virus appeared to infect humans with greater ease than previous avian influenza virus subtypes such as H5N1 and H9N2. While there are other potential explanations for this large number of human infections with an avian influenza virus, we investigated whether a lack of conserved T-cell epitopes between endemic H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses and the novel H7N9 virus contributes to this observation. Here we demonstrate that a number of T cell epitopes are conserved between endemic H1N1 and H3N2 viruses and H7N9 virus. Most of these conserved epitopes are from viral internal proteins. The extent of conservation between endemic human seasonal influenza and avian influenza H7N9 was comparable to that with the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. Thus, the ease of inter-species transmission of H7N9 viruses (compared with avian H5N1 viruses) cannot be attributed to the lack of conservation of such T cell epitopes. On the contrary, our fi ndings predict significant T-cell based cross-reactions in the human population to the novel H7N9 virus. Our findings also have implications for H7N9 virus vaccine design. Influenza virus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media


Via Ed Rybicki
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Launch of training in laboratory management for influenza specialists - World Health Organization (press release)

Launch of training in laboratory management for influenza specialists World Health Organization (press release) An influenza laboratory management training course for 24 specialists from National influenza laboratories in selected eastern European...
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SimFlu: A simulation tool for predicting the variation pattern of influenza A virus [Comput Biol Med. 2014] - PubMed - NCBI

PubMed comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
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Avian Flu Diary: CHP Notified Of Additional H7N9 Case In Hunan Province

Avian Flu Diary: CHP Notified Of Additional H7N9 Case In Hunan Province | Influenza | Scoop.it
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Exclusive: Controversial US scientist creates deadly new flu strain for pandemic research

A controversial scientist who carried out provocative research on making influenza viruses more infectious has completed his most dangerous experiment to date by deliberately creating a pandemic strain of flu that can evade the human immune system.
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The value of influenza aerosol transmission experiments

The value of influenza aerosol transmission experiments | Influenza | Scoop.it
A Harvard epidemiologist has been on a crusade to curtail aerosol transmission experiments on avian influenza H5N1 virus.
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Ahead of Print -Infection with Possible Precursor of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in a Child, China, 2013 - Volume 20, Number 8—August 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Ahead of Print -Infection with Possible Precursor of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in a Child, China, 2013 - Volume 20, Number 8—August 2014 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC | Influenza | Scoop.it
During the early stage of the avian influenza A(H7N9) epidemic in China in March 2013, a strain of the virus was identified in a 4-year-old boy with mild influenza symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this strain, which has similarity to avian subtype H9N2 viruses, may represent a precursor of more-evolved H7N9 subtypes co-circulating among humans.
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Swine flu pandemic likely to have been accelerated by school-age children in ... - Cambridge News

Swine flu pandemic likely to have been accelerated by school-age children in ... - Cambridge News | Influenza | Scoop.it
Swine flu pandemic likely to have been accelerated by school-age children in ...
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Bird to Human Transmission Biases and Vaccine Escape Mutants in H5N1 Infections

Bird to Human Transmission Biases and Vaccine Escape Mutants in H5N1 Infections | Influenza | Scoop.it
by Kshitij Wagh, Aatish Bhatia, Benjamin D. Greenbaum, Gyan Bhanot
Background The avian influenza A H5N1 virus occasionally infects humans, with high mortality rates.
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Avian Flu Diary: Canine H3N2 Reassortant With pH1N1 Matrix Gene

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Avian Flu Diary: Zhejiang Bans Live Urban Poultry Trading

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Reports on H7N9 clusters show limited family spread - ScienceBlog.com (blog)

ScienceBlog.com (blog) Reports on H7N9 clusters show limited family spread ScienceBlog.com (blog) Genetic analysis of H7N9 viruses from the man, his son, and the environment found identical sequences, with several features the same as H7N9 viruses...
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