Navigation Links
Mouse study reveals new clues about virulence of 1918 influenza virus

The first comprehensive analysis of an animal's immune response to the 1918 influenza virus provides new insights into the killer flu, report federally supported scientists in an article appearing online today in the journal Nature. Key among these insights, they found that the 1918 virus triggers a hyperactive immune response that may contribute to the lethality of the virus. Furthermore, their results suggest that it is the combination of all eight of the 1918 flu virus genes interacting synergistically that accounts for the exceptional virulence of this virus.

Michael G. Katze, Ph.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, a grantee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), led the research team with University of Washington's John Kash, Ph.D. The work with the fully reconstructed 1918 virus was conducted by coauthor Terrence Tumpey, Ph.D., in a biosafety level 3-enhanced laboratory at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

"Understanding as much as possible about the virus that caused the devastating 1918-1919 influenza pandemic is an urgent imperative as we pursue efforts to prepare for--and possibly thwart--the next flu pandemic," says NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

"This elegant research gives a detailed picture of the overzealous host reaction to infection by a fully reconstructed 1918 influenza virus," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. "The research provides clues as to why the flu of 1918 was so deadly, and may also help us better understand the disease process that occurs when people are infected by emerging avian influenza viruses, such as the H5N1 strain."

Unlike typical seasonal flu, which strikes hardest at the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune function, the 1918 flu disproportionately killed young people in the prime of life. Modern analyses of 1918 flu v ictim autopsy samples show extreme and extensive damage to lung tissues. This observation gave rise to the hypothesis that the 1918 flu virus infection provoked an uncontrolled inflammatory response leading to rapid lung failure and death.

To test this idea, Dr. Tumpey infected mice intranasally with one of four types of flu virus: human seasonal flu virus from a strain that circulated in Texas in 1991; lab-made viruses containing either two or five of eight viral genes from the 1918 virus; or a reconstructed virus containing all eight 1918 flu virus genes. Lung tissue from three infected mice in each group was removed on days 1, 3 and 5 post-infection and processed to destroy any virus. The mouse genetic material (RNA) was then extracted from these lung samples and sent to the University of Washington team for analysis.

Drs. Katze and Kash and colleagues examined the mouse RNA using microarrays to determine which genes were activated when exposed to each of the four viruses. This analysis showed that the immune response to the reconstructed 1918 virus containing all eight flu genes was much greater than to any of the other viruses with all eight genes, says Dr. Katze. In particular, genes involved in promoting inflammation were strongly and immediately activated following infection by the reconstructed 1918 virus. "We clearly see a dramatic and uncontrolled immune response in the mouse lungs as early as one day following infection with the reconstructed 1918 virus," he says. A complete understanding of the host's response to the 1918 flu virus, adds Dr. Katze, requires use of a fully reconstructed virus.

A fuller picture of the host immune response to the 1918 flu virus could also be valuable to scientists working to develop therapies against such viruses as the H5N1 avian influenza, the researchers note. Besides targeting the flu virus itself, Dr. Katze explains, researchers might develop new or improved agents aimed at moderating or h alting the human immune system's overactive response to these viruses.

Source:NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Related biology news :

1. Mouse brain cells rapidly recover after Alzheimers plaques are cleared
2. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
3. Research Using Mouse Models Reveals A Novel Key Player In The Initiation Of Colon Cancer
4. Mouse gene shows new mechanism behind cardiac infarction in man
5. Mouse with designer liver has enhanced glucose tolerance, insulin response
6. Agilent Technologies Introduces First Commercial Mouse Microarray for Comparative Genomic Hybridization Research
7. Mouse genome much more complex than expected
8. Mouse study: New muscle-building agent beats all previous ones
9. Mouse study reveals human X-SCID gene therapy poses substantial cancer risk
10. Mouse to man: The story of chromosomes
11. Mouse mimics chronic leukemia, will aid drug development

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015 About ... that helps to identify and verify the identity ... considered as the secure and accurate method of ... a particular individual because each individual,s signature is ... especially when dynamic signature of an individual is ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three finalists ... "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... October 29, 2015 NXTD ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market ... that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and ... Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday ... or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered ... has received written notification from The NASDAQ Stock ... minimum bid price requirements. The letter noted that ... of HART,s common stock having exceeded $1.00 per ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Imagine Exhibitions and Universal Partnerships & ... in March 2016 at Melbourne Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Immediately following the Australia ... tour dates. The Exhibition is based on Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World, one of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... TapImmune, Inc. (TPIV), a ... peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment ... be presenting at the 8 th Annual LD ... PM PT. Dr. John N. Bonfiglio a ... the presentation and will join TapImmune management in meeting ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  AbbVie, is introducing ... focuses on a daily routine for managing the life-long ... medication can affect the way the body absorbs it ... their a daily routine are important. The goal of ... patients better manage their hypothyroidism by establishing a daily ...
Breaking Biology Technology: