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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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The highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain from July 2012 in Mexico acquired an extended cleavage site through recombination with host 28S rRNA

The highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain from July 2012 in Mexico acquired an extended cleavage site through recombination with host 28S rRNA | Virology News | Scoop.it
A characteristic difference between highly and non-highly pathogenic avian influenza strains is the presence of an extended, often multibasic, cleavage motif insertion in the hemagglutinin protein.

Conclusions

This highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain acquired a novel extended cleavage site which likely originated from recombination with 28S rRNA from the avian host. Notably, this new virus can infect humans but currently lacks critical host receptor adaptations that would facilitate human to human transmission.

 

Avian influenza virus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

This is rather sinister!  Not only can influenza viruses mutate, for antigenic drift, and reassort with one aother for antigenic shift - they can now recombine with HOST sequences to increase pathogenicity!

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Characterizing the killer H7N9

Characterizing the killer H7N9 | Virology News | Scoop.it

What scientists are learning about the zoonotic flu virus that has infected more than 100 people in China since February.

The virus appears to be more virulent than past H7 avian flu viruses in past outbreaks, which have caused conjunctivitis but have only been blamed for one death. Furthermore, this virus appears to be spreading from its hosts to humans unusually readily

Ed Rybicki's insight:

March 31 to April to publish several papers on the virus: new technology has enabled SUCH rapid progress these days, it is almost unbelievable.

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