# 9848 The effect of this year’s vaccine mismatch due to a `drifted’ H3N2 virus has been keenly felt across the Northern Hemisphere, but perhaps no more so than in Hong Kong which has seen a doubling of severe cases and a tripling of deaths...
On 9 March 2015, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 59 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus, including 17 fatal cases.
Credit WHO # 9835 Despite the fact that Egypt is more than 4 months into the worst H5N1 outbreak since the virus emerged in the mid-1990s, with at last count – 115 human cases since November 1st – we get very little day-to-day information...
# 9841 The recent emergence and rapid spread of several new HPAI H5 viruses (H5N8, H5N2, H5N3, and a `new’ H5N1), and the infection of a woman in Taiwan in 2013 with H6N1, has elevated concerns that one of these avian viruses could...
An outbreak of influenza A(H1N1) in India with more than 8,000 reported cases and 800 deaths is suspected to be a drifted strain from the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus, according to a recent study.“Although there are limited Indian-origin ...
Bird flu strains, H10N8 and H6N1, do not infect people easily: Researchers Outbreak News Today ... we shouldn't be complacent about our ability to predict the viral changes required to get a pandemic,” said Ian A.
Wild birds play a major role in the evolution, maintenance, and spread of avian influenza viruses. However, surveillance for these viruses in wild birds is sporadic, geographically biased, and often limited to the last outbreak virus. To identify opportunities to optimize wild bird surveillance for understanding viral diversity, we reviewed responses to a World Organisation for Animal Health–administered survey, government reports to this organization, articles on Web of Knowledge, and the Influenza Research Database. At least 119 countries conducted avian influenza virus surveillance in wild birds during 2008–2013, but coordination and standardization was lacking among surveillance efforts, and most focused on limited subsets of influenza viruses. Given high financial and public health burdens of recent avian influenza outbreaks, we call for sustained, cost-effective investments in locations with high avian influenza diversity in wild birds and efforts to promote standardized sampling, testing, and reporting methods, including full-genome sequencing and sharing of isolates with the scientific community.
# 9834 An indication of how quickly things are changing, although this document was put online today and carries a March 13th release date, HPAI H5 has been reported in a 10th American State (Kansas) since this report was written.
Influenza viruses remain one of the most worrisome global public health threats due to their capacity to cause pandemics. While seasonal vaccines fail to protect against the emergence of pandemic strains, a new class of broadly neutralizing antibodies has been recently discovered and may be the key to developing a “universal” influenza virus vaccine. While much has been learned about the biology of these antibodies, most studies have focused only on monoclonal antibodies of IgG subtypes. However, the study of monoclonal antibodies often fails to capture the complexity of antibody functions that occur during natural polyclonal responses.
Here, we provide the first detailed analyses of the biological activity of these antibodies in polyclonal contexts, comparing both IgG and IgA isotypes isolated from human donors. The striking differences observed in the functional properties of broadly neutralizing antibodies in polyclonal contexts will be essential for guiding design of “universal” influenza virus vaccines and therapeutics.
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