Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study outlines genetic differences between potential pandemic influenza strains

21.03.2006


An analysis of H5N1 influenza samples in Southeast Asia shows not only how the two strains that have caused human disease are related but also that they belong to two different, distinct genetic subgroups. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report their findings today at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.



"As the virus continues its geographic expansion, it is also undergoing genetic diversity expansion," says Rebecca Garten, a researcher on the study. "Back in 2003 we only had one genetically distinct population of H5N1 with the potential to cause a human pandemic, now we have two."

Garten and her colleagues conducted a phylogenetic analysis of over 300 H5N1 virus samples taken from both avian and human sources from 2003 through the summer of 2005. They correlated the genetic makeup of viruses to the physical characteristics of viruses, including surface proteins and receptor sites, to determine where each virus should be placed on the H5N1 family tree.


Not all H5N1 viruses are genetically the same. Over the years researchers have identified different genetic groups called genotypes.

The majority of the viruses, including all the human cases, belonged to genotype Z. There were also small numbers of viruses isolated from avian populations that were genotype V or W or recently identified genotype G.

That is where the similarity between the two human strains ended. Previous research published by the World Health Organization has further classified genotype Z into subgroups called clades. In 2003 and 2004, clade 1 viruses were primarily responsible for outbreaks, including all infections in human, in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand.

In 2005 a second strain of H5N1 began causing disease in humans in Indonesia. Analysis of the Indonesia strain found that it belongs to genotype Z clade 2, a subgroup of the virus that previously was not known to cause human disease. Clade 1 and clade 2 viruses may share the same ancestor but are different and can be be likened to cousins.

What this means, says Garten, is that the pool of H5N1 candidates with the potential to cause a human influenza pandemic is getting more genetically diverse, which makes studying the virus more complex and heightens the need for increased surveillance. She expects further continued diversity in the future.

"Change is the only constant. Only time will tell whether the virus evolves or mutates in such a way that it can be transmitted from human to human efficiently," says Garten.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iceid.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>