Skip to comments.Virus Hybridization Could Create Pandemic Bird Flu
Posted on 02/24/2010 9:52:01 AM PST by greatdefender
Genetic interactions between avian H5N1 influenza and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability of H1N1, according to a new study.
In laboratory experiments in mice, a single gene segment from a human seasonal flu virus, H3N2, was able to convert the avian H5N1 virus into a highly pathogenic form. The findings are reported the week of Feb. 22 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Some hybrids between H5N1 virus and seasonal influenza viruses were more pathogenic than the original H5N1 viruses. That is worrisome," says Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and senior author of the new study.
The H5N1 bird flu virus has spread worldwide through bird populations and has caused 442 confirmed human cases and 262 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. To date, however, bird flu has not been able to spread effectively between people.
"H5N1 virus has never acquired the ability to transmit among humans, which is why we haven't had a pandemic. The worry is that the pandemic H1N1 virus may provide that nature in the background of this highly pathogenic H5N1 virus," says Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.
Two viruses infecting a single host cell can swap genetic material, or reassort, creating hybrid strains with characteristics of each parent virus.
Before the current study, hybrid viruses generated in lab studies had always been less virulent than parent strains. However, the new findings raise concerns that H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 viruses could reassort in individuals exposed to both viruses and generate an influenza strain that is both highly virulent and contagious.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Could could could. We know we’ve been hearing this for 10 years. So if we just give researchers more money will that save us? Is that what the message is?
I thought hybrids were good.
If it mutates into something with “the pandemic ability of H1N1”, we have nothing to fear.
WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! OH NOES!
Gotta go find my tin foil hat...again.....
rofl. Yet, they will keep cooking until they get one that works the way intended. lol
Sorry. I’m suffereing from Apocalyptic Crisis Exhaustion. Catch me next time, maybe.
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