facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Virulence of 1918 flu virus studied

Oct. 2, 2006 at 9:32 AM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have completed the first comprehensive analysis of an animal's immune response to the 1918 influenza virus.

The researchers, led by Michael Katze of the University of Washington's School of Medicine, say they found the 1918 virus triggers a hyperactive immune response that may contribute to the lethality of the virus. Furthermore, their results suggest it is the combination of all eight of the 1918 flu virus genes interacting synergistically that accounts for the exceptional virulence of the virus.

The work with the fully reconstructed 1918 virus was conducted by co-author Terrence Tumpey in a biosafety level 3-enhanced laboratory at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

"This elegant research gives a detailed picture of the overzealous host reaction to infection by a fully reconstructed 1918 influenza virus," said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci. "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."

The study appears online in the journal Nature.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise
2
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
3
"Man in the moon" likely caused by volcano, not astroid "Man in the moon" likely caused by volcano, not astroid
4
35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore 35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore
5
Lamborghini reveals Asterion LPI-910, hybrid supercar that hits 199 mph and gets 57 mpg Lamborghini reveals Asterion LPI-910, hybrid supercar that hits 199 mph and gets 57 mpg
Trending News
x
Feedback