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Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature

Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature | Virology News | Scoop.it
It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found.

The findings, from research led by Professor Derek Smith and Dr Colin Russell at the University of Cambridge, were published June 22 in the journal Science.
Currently, avian H5N1 influenza, also known as bird flu, can be transmitted from birds to humans, but not (or only very rarely) from human to human. However, two recent papers by Herfst, Fouchier and colleagues in Science and Imai, Kawaoka and colleagues in Nature reveal that potentially with as few as five mutations (amino acid substitutions), or four mutations plus reassortment, avian H5N1 can become airborne transmissible between mammals, and thus potentially among humans. However, until now, it was not known whether these mutations might evolve in nature.
The Cambridge researchers first analysed all of the surveillance data available on avian H5N1 influenza viruses from the last 15 years, focusing on birds and humans. They discovered that two of the five mutations seen in the experimental viruses (from the Fouchier and Kawaoka labs) had occurred in numerous existing avian flu strains. Additionally, they found that a number of the viruses had both of the mutations.
Colin Russell, Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, said: "Viruses that have two of these mutations are already common in birds, meaning that there are viruses that might have to acquire only three additional mutations in a human to become airborne transmissible. The next key question is 'is three a lot, or a little?' "

 

So: was it a good idea to publish those two papers on mutating H5N1 viruses, or not?  Given that as I and many other more famous people pointed out, if you don't know what makes the viruses mammal-to-mammal transmissible, you don't know what to look for - and now we do, and look what they found.  This story will run, and run, and run - so we really, really should include an H5 consensus HA in seasonal flu vaccines!!

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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like Led Zeppelin. And zombies B-)
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Nanoparticle Flu Vaccine Provides Protection against Six Viral Strains

From BioPortfolio: Researchers developed and showed that a novel nanoparticle vaccine that combines two major influenza proteins is effective in providing broad, long-lasting prot...
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The impact of repeated vaccination using 10-year vaccination history on protection against influenza in older adults

Introduction
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for older adults, but evidence regarding the impact of repeated vaccination has been inconclusive. Aim We investigated vaccine effectiveness (VE) against laboratory-confirmed influenza and the impact of repeated vaccination over 10 previous...
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Hot rocks offer clues to life on 'Snowball Earth'

Hot rocks offer clues to life on 'Snowball Earth' | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists braved the heat to answer a question about oxygen and "Snowball Earth," a period when the oceans virtually froze from the poles to the equator.
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Australian researchers developing vaccine for peanut allergies

Australian researchers developing vaccine for peanut allergies | Virology News | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of South Australia are close to developing a life-changing vaccine for deadly peanut allergies.
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Osivax Enters Agreement with U.S. National Institutes of Health to Test Universal Flu Vaccine Candidate

Osivax Enters Agreement with U.S. National Institutes of Health to Test Universal Flu Vaccine Candidate | Virology News | Scoop.it
Lyon, France – December 5, 2019  – Osivax announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of...
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Probable mass graves uncovered in Queensland town of Cherbourg decimated by Spanish influenza 

Probable mass graves uncovered in Queensland town of Cherbourg decimated by Spanish influenza  | Virology News | Scoop.it
An Aboriginal elder in Queensland is working with a team of researchers to find mass graves — the final resting place of 90 locals who died in the space of three weeks during one of the world's worst outbreaks of Spanish influenza.
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xkcd: Flu Shot

xkcd: Flu Shot | Virology News | Scoop.it
Flu Shot(alt-text) "Wait, how often are you getting bitten by snakes? And why are you boiling water?" "Dunno, the CDC people keep showing up with complicated questions about the 'history of the property' and 'possible curses' but I kinda tune them out. At least one of them offered me the flu shot." |< < ? > >| You can get it here: Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, Apple, Audible, Target Archive Store What If? About
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Grandparents' vaccines – what's recommended before they hold newborns

Grandparents' vaccines – what's recommended before they hold newborns | Virology News | Scoop.it
It's that time of year when we should think about the grandparents' vaccines before they meet and hold newborns.And also these vaccines protect them...
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Vaccine: Flu victim recovering from three-month coma

Vaccine: Flu victim recovering from three-month coma | Virology News | Scoop.it
A man with asthma who caught the flu ended up in a coma after declining a flu vaccine.
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Cancer's 'addiction' could be a way to defeat it

Cancer's 'addiction' could be a way to defeat it | Virology News | Scoop.it
Scientists call some cancers "Wnt addicted" because they can't live without it. New research with gastric cancer organoids suggests a new treatment strategy.
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To cope with anxiety, use 'safety signals'

To cope with anxiety, use 'safety signals' | Virology News | Scoop.it
"A safety signal could be a musical piece, a person, or even an item like a stuffed animal that represents the absence of threat."...
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Rats replay memories forward and backwards to make decisions

Rats replay memories forward and backwards to make decisions | Virology News | Scoop.it
Watching the way rat brains replay their memories forward and backward while making a decision let researchers predict what it would decide.
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KISS cancel entire Australian tour due to Paul Stanley illness

KISS cancel entire Australian tour due to Paul Stanley illness | Virology News | Scoop.it
KISS have been forced to cancel their entire Australian tour as Paul Stanley continues to battle a bad bout of influenza.
Ed Rybicki's insight:
Don't know if that's a bad or a good thing...?
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Meissa Vaccines Receives U.S. FDA Fast Track Designation for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine, MV-012-968

Meissa Vaccines Receives U.S. FDA Fast Track Designation for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine, MV-012-968 | Virology News | Scoop.it
Meissa Vaccines Receives U.S.FDA Fast Track Designation for Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine, MV-012-968...
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Self-assembly into virus-like particles of the recombinant capsid protein of porcine circovirus type 3 and its application on antibodies detection

PCV3 capsid protein (Cap) is an important antigen for diagnosis and vaccine development. To achieve high-level expression of recombinant PCV3 Cap in Escherichia coli (E. coli), the gene of wild-type entire Cap (wt-eCap) was amplified from clinical samples, and three optimized entire Cap (opti-eCap) and one optimized Cap deleted nuclear location signal (NLS) (opti-dCap) gene fragments encoding the same amino acid sequence with wt-eCap were synthesized based on the codon bias of E. coli. Those gene fragments were inserted into the pET30a expression vector. One recombinant strain with the highest expressed soluble eCap from four entire Cap (one wt-eCap and three opti-eCap) and one recombinant strain expressed opti-dCap were selected for further purification. The purified eCap and dCap were identified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), a large number of round hollow particles with a diameter of 10 nm virus-like particles (VLPs) were observed in eCap, whereas irregular aggregation of proteins observed in dCap. After formation the VLPs were applied as a coating antigen to establish an indirect ELISA (I-ELISA) for detection of PCV3-specific antibody in swine serum. 373 clinical swine serum samples from China collected in 2019 were tested utilizing the VLP-based I-ELISA method under optimized conditions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of self-assembly into VLPs of PCV3 recombinant Cap. Our results demonstrated that the VLP-based I-ELISA will be a valuable tool for detecting the presence of PCV3 antibodies in serum samples and will facilitate screening of large numbers of swine serum for clinical purposes.

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Giant ice planet orbits hot star 1/4 its size

Giant ice planet orbits hot star 1/4 its size | Virology News | Scoop.it
New evidence points to an giant, icy planet orbiting a white dwarf star that's slowing evaporating it.
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Preparing for the Next Pandemic — The WHO’s Global Influenza Strategy

Preparing for the Next Pandemic — The WHO’s Global Influenza Strategy | Virology News | Scoop.it
Preparing for the Next Pandemic Given the ongoing threat posed by influenza, the WHO earlier this year released its Global Influenza Strategy 2019–2030. Although the strategy is a welcome step, add...
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Half a million Ebola vaccine doses to be stockpiled for emergency use 

Half a million Ebola vaccine doses to be stockpiled for emergency use  | Virology News | Scoop.it
- A stockpile of 500,000 doses of Ebola vaccine for emergency use in outbreaks o...
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U.S. flu season arrives early and it could be an especially bad one, experts warn

U.S. flu season arrives early and it could be an especially bad one, experts warn | Virology News | Scoop.it
There’s a good chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal in the U.S. this winter, health officials say.
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Antibody May Make Effective Norovirus Vaccine 

Antibody May Make Effective Norovirus Vaccine  | Virology News | Scoop.it
Norovirus Antibody May Make Effective “Stomach Flu” Vaccine  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News...
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NASA's Parker probe reveals new solar oddities

NASA's Parker probe reveals new solar oddities | Virology News | Scoop.it
The first observations from NASA's Parker Solar Probe "will fundamentally change our understanding of the sun," researchers say.
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3 theories why asteroid Bennu is spewing bits

3 theories why asteroid Bennu is spewing bits | Virology News | Scoop.it
"Among Bennu's many surprises, the particle ejections sparked our curiosity, and we've spent the last several months investigating this mystery."...
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New calf pneumonia vaccine to protect calves as early as 1 week

New calf pneumonia vaccine to protect calves as early as 1 week | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new early life intranasal vaccine will allow UK cattle farmers can now protect dairy and beef calves against the key causes of viral pneumonia from as young as one week of age.
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China reports two human H9N2 avian flu cases

China reports two human H9N2 avian flu cases | Virology News | Scoop.it
By NewsDesk   @bactiman63 Taiwan health officials reported today (computer translated) on two human H9N2 avian influenza on Mainland China. The cases, from November 12th and 22nd, are the first reported in China this season.
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Truncated Rep protein of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) caused by a naturally occurring mutation reduced virus replication in PK15 cells

BACKGROUND: Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) is the causative agent of porcine circovirus-associated diseases (PCVADs). The infection of PCV2 is widespread and has serious consequence, thereby causing significant economic losses in the swine industry worldwide. Previously, we found that a strain named YiY-3-2-3 has a naturally occurring point mutation (G710 to A710) in ORF1 region, which leads to a shorten product of the rep gene (945 to 660 base pair). Importantly, the Rep protein is responsible for genome replication of PCV2. To explore the effects of this mutation on the PCV2 replication, in the current study we constructed infectious clone of this IF-YiY-3-2-3, as well as those of its two parental strains of IF-YiY-3-2-1 and IF-YiY-3-2-10. Subsequently, these infectious clones which have 1.1 copy of PCV2 genome of their corresponding strains were transfected into PK15 cells to obtain rescued viruses, respectively. RESULTS: Though all of the three infectious clones could be rescued, the copy number and infectivity of these rescued viruses were significantly different, as analyzed by fluorescence quantitative PCR, Tissue culture infectious dose 50 (TCID50), and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Notably, whether the PCV2 copy number, viral titer or the infectivity of rescued viruses from infectious clone IF-YiY-3-2-3 was significantly less than those of its parental clones. Meanwhile, the spatial structure of the Rep protein from the IF-YiY-3-2-3 displayed an apparent truncation at the C-terminal. CONCLUSIONS: These findings therefore suggest that the Rep protein with truncated C-terminal would reduce virus replication and infectivity, and there might also exist both favorable and unfavorable mutations in the ORF1 of PCV2 in the process of its evolution.

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