Virology News
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Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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Potential for H3N2 influenza pandemic

Potential for H3N2 influenza pandemic | Virology News | Scoop.it

The 2009 swine-origin H1N1 influenza, though antigenically novel to the population at the time, was antigenically similar to the 1918 H1N1 pandemic influenza, and consequently was considered to be [ldquo]archived[rdquo] in the swine species before reemerging in humans. Given that the H3N2 is another subtype that currently circulates in the human population and is high on WHO pandemic preparedness list, we assessed the likelihood of reemergence of H3N2 from a non-human host. Using HA sequence features relevant to immune recognition, receptor binding and transmission we have identified several recent H3 strains in avian and swine that present hallmarks of a reemerging virus. IgG polyclonal raised in rabbit with recent seasonal vaccine H3 fail to recognize these swine H3 strains suggesting that existing vaccines may not be effective in protecting against these strains.


Vaccine strategies can mitigate risks associated with a potential H3N2 pandemic in humans.

Ed Rybicki's insight:

No-one think of H3N2...except, as it happens, these folk - who have shown quite convincingly that circulating strains of H3N2 in birds and pigs would be quite capable of avoiding vaccine-conferred immunity, and potentially of causing a pandemic, if they reassorted with human-infecting viruses.  

 

I can't help but feel that there are several ticking influenza pandemic time bombs out there...H5N1, H7N9, and now H3N2.

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Mississauga Article: Making vaccine for new bird flu virus could be a challenge

Mississauga Article: Making vaccine for new bird flu virus could be a challenge | Virology News | Scoop.it
TORONTO — Making a vaccine to protect against the new bird flu virus that has emerged in eastern China could prove to be problematic, influenza experts acknowledged yesterday.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

"...clinical trials of vaccines made to protect against other viruses in the H7 family have shown the vaccines don't induce much of an immune response, even when people are given what would be considered very large doses."


This is a little worrying - and possibly a spur to making universal vaccines!

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A Brief History of Influenza

A Brief History of Influenza | Virology News | Scoop.it
I am TRYING to write an eBook on influenza, which stubbornly refuses to be finished - as part of a sabbatical project, which finished in December 2010.  So, like my History of Virology, I am triall...
Ed Rybicki's insight:

I will reprise this post, given a considerable recent spike in interest in it as the new H7N9 Shanghai bird flu starts.  Hopefully to fizzle out, but you never know....

 

Incidentally, I have an almost-finished iBook (for iPad) on influenza: the first five respondents to this post can trial it for free!

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Chris Upton + helpers's comment, April 8, 2013 2:39 PM
cool... and I have iPad
Rescooped by Ed Rybicki from Virology and Bioinformatics from Virology.ca
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Easy Jump for H5N1 from Bird to Mammal

Easy Jump for H5N1 from Bird to Mammal | Virology News | Scoop.it
Hybrid viruses derived from an H5N1 bird flu strain can infect guinea pigs through the air.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

It is rather concerning that these guys did NOT have to make HA mutations to get their viruses easily transmissible - they just to make reassortants with H5N1 and H1N1pdm viruses.  As could happen in pigs or poultry anywhere both viruses occur....

 
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Who can catch which flu?

Who can catch which flu? | Virology News | Scoop.it
Imgur is used to share photos with social networks and online communities, and has the funniest pictures from all over the Internet.
Ed Rybicki's insight:

Excellent graphic!

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