Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Early detection of highly pathogenic influenza viruses

22.06.2015

Multidisciplinary research team develops tool for the assessment of the pandemic risk of avian influenza viruses

Lack of appropriate drugs and vaccines during the influenza A virus (IAV) pandemic in 2009, the recent Ebola (EBOV) epidemic in West Africa, as well as the ongoing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak demonstrates that the world is only insufficiently prepared for global attacks of emerging infectious diseases and that the handling of such threats remains a great challenge.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses of the H5N1-type represent one of the most serious threats for the human population. Although the virus has only occasionally been transmitted to humans yet, it results in diseases with a mortality rate of up to 60 percent.

There are indications for the H5N1 viruses’ mutation towards a more easy transmission to humans. This is especially true for Egypt, which could possibly become a potential epicenter of a new influenza pandemic. A better understanding of the molecular basis of the evolution of IAV is therefore of outmost importance for an early detection of highly pathogenic IAV and the efficient fight and control of possible epidemic or even pandemic outbreaks.

A multidisciplinary research team, including scholars from the Institute of Medical Virology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, has recently developed a tool, which is suitable to identify candidate pandemic influenza viruses circulating in animal hosts.

On the basis of a combined application of a computational technique (ISM) and experimental molecular virological methods, the research team from Germany and Serbia was able to develop and validate a new tool to predict possible biological effects resulting from naturally occurring mutations as they are found for example in H5N1 viruses in Egypt. Thus, the ISM technique can help to identify those influenza viruses circulating in animal hosts that could efficiently transmit to humans and therewith possess a possible pandemic potential.

The research team involves the Institute of Medical Virology (JLU), the Georg-Speyer-Haus — Institute for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy (Frankfurt am Main), the Robert-Koch-Institute, Division for HIV and other Retroviruses (Berlin) as well as the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research, Institute of Nuclear Sciences VINCA (Belgrade, Serbia).

In spite of various advances in the last years, there are still substantial gaps regarding the genetic information, epidemiology and pathobiology of H5N1-IAV in humans. “Our data opens the possibility to develop a new tool for the assessment of pandemic risks associated with specific influenza viruses”, says Prof. Dr. Stephan Pleschka (Institute of Medical Virology at JLU), leading author of the study. “It could thereby provide a better preparation against potential pandemics. This especially concerns the development of a pre-pandemic vaccine, which might add to the prevention of the negative impacts of newly emerging influenza viruses.”

Publication
"In silico prediction and experimental confirmation of HA residues conferring enhanced human receptor specificity of H5N1 influenza A viruses", by S. Schmier, A. Mostafa, T. Haarmann, N. Bannert, J. Ziebuhr, V. Veljkovic, U. Dietrich, S. Pleschka; published on 19th June 2015 in the journal “Scientific Reports” by the Nature Publishing Group.
DOI: 10.1038/srep11434

Contact
Prof. Dr. Stephan Pleschka
Institut für Medizinsiche Virologie
Biomedizinisches Forschungszentrum Seltersberg (BFS)
Schubertstrasse 81, 35392 Giessen, Germany
Phone: 0049 641 99-47750
E-Mail: stephan.pleschka@viro.med.uni-giessen.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.nature.com/scientificreports

Caroline Link | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-giessen.de/

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
13.04.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>