Navigation Links
New influenza virus from seals highlights the risks of pandemic flu from animals
Date:7/31/2012

A new strain of influenza virus found in harbor seals could represent a threat to wildlife and human health, according to the authors of a study appearing July 31 in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. It is crucial to monitor viruses like this one, which originated in birds and adapted to infect mammals, the authors say, so that scientists can better predict the emergence of new strains of influenza and prevent pandemics in the future.

"There is a concern that we have a new mammalian-transmissible virus to which humans haven't been exposed yet. It's a combination we haven't seen in disease before," says Anne Moscona of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, the editor of the report.

The authors, who hail from several different institutions, including Columbia University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Outbreaks, say transmissible and pathogenic flu viruses in mammals, like the one in this study, clearly pose a concern for human health. In 2009, for instance, the H1N1 "swine flu" virus that emerged in humans apparently originated from a reassortment of flu viruses found in birds, pigs, and humans. The H3N8 strain in New England harbor seals may come to represent the first sighting of a new group of influenza viruses with the potential to persist and move between species.

The mBio study analyzed the DNA of a virus associated with a die-off of 162 New England harbor seals in 2011. Autopsies of five of the seals revealed they apparently died from infection with a type of influenza called H3N8, which is closely related to a flu strain that has been circulating in North American birds since 2002. Unlike the strain in birds, this virus has adaptations to living in mammals and has mutations that are known to make flu viruses more transmissible and cause more severe disease. The virus also has the ability to target a receptor called SAα-2,6, a protein found in the human respiratory tract.

Moscana says the study raises two concerns about flu. First, this strain is a novel virus that infects mammals and may well pass from animal to animal, a combination of traits that make it a potential threat to humans. Also, the possibility that a bird flu virus would infect seals hadn't been widely considered before, highlighting the fact that pandemic influenza can crop up in unexpected ways. She emphasizes the need for readiness.

"Flu could emerge from anywhere and our readiness has to be much better than we previously realized. We need to be very nimble in our ability to identify and understand the potential risks posed by new viruses emerging from unexpected sources," says Moscona. "It's important to realize that viruses can emerge through routes that we haven't considered. We need to be alert to those risks and ready to act on them."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza
2. Investigators trace of role reusable grocery bag in norovirus outbreak
3. 16th-century Korean mummy provides clue to hepatitis B virus genetic code
4. New study shows why swine flu virus develops drug resistance
5. Vygone Introduces A New Zapper For Effective Relief From Herpes Virus Related Skin Problems
6. Vygone Presents A New Product To Deal With Genital Warts And Other Herpes Virus Related Skin Problems
7. Moffitt researchers find cutaneous human papillomavirus infection a risk factor for skin cancer
8. Hepatitis C Virus Levels Higher in Certain Injection Drug Users
9. Antibodies for new rotavirus vaccines
10. SEARCH study shows 1-year drop in HIV virus levels in rural Ugandan parish after campaign
11. Human papillomavirus types do not replace others after large-scale vaccination
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on Long Island, ... the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of the biggest trends ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Technique, technique, technique – with a dash of common ... strength training and exercise or simply lifting heavy objects, advises Dr. Kaliq Chang, interventional ... Dr. Chang says. “Improper technique in lifting anything heavy or an attempt to lift ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network and the ... Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital , a unique facility ... suffering from pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is underway with a scheduled ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... management (PHM) technology and a 2017 Best in KLAS category winner, has named ... market position to extend and enhance its technology platform and product offerings,” says ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... By all indications, and due ... County. While officials call for diligence, asking homeowners to scout for any open water ... concerns. Along with the annoying buzz of mosquitos is the buzz associated with potential ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 Global Health Intelligence ... Latin America , published its 2017 ranking of ... is based on extensive data analysis from GHI,s hospitals ... hospitals database for the region. The GHI database covers 86% ... offering more than 130 data points for each institution in ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Demonstrating its ... board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and ... for membership. Biopharmaceutical companies will now have to ... order to be eligible to join PhRMA. ... the board is sending a clear message that ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017   Provista , a proven leader in the ... today announced Jim Cunniff as the company,s new ... business experience to Provista, including most recently serving as the ... California . He assumed his new role with Provista ... fit for Provista," says Jody Hatcher , president, Sourcing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: