Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

H1N1 Pandemic Virus Does Not Mutate Into 'Superbug' In Lab Study

Date:
September 1, 2009
Source:
University of Maryland
Summary:
In the first study to examine how the H1N1 pandemic virus interacts with other flu strains, laboratory research found no evidence of "reassortment" to form a more virulent "superbug," but did demonstrate the heightened communicability of the pandemic form responsible for the so-called swine flu. The pandemic virus prevailed over and out-competed the other strains in ferrets, reproducing, on average, twice as much.

Virologist Daniel Perez, the lead researcher and program director of the University of Maryland-based Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Maryland

A laboratory study by University of Maryland researchers suggests that some of the worst fears about a virulent H1N1 pandemic flu season may not be realized this year, but does demonstrate the heightened communicability of the virus.

Using ferrets exposed to three different viruses, the Maryland researchers found no evidence that the H1N1 pandemic variety, responsible for the so-called swine flu, combines in a lab setting with other flu strains to form a more virulent 'superbug.' Rather, the pandemic virus prevailed and out-competed the other strains, reproducing in the ferrets, on average, twice as much.

The researchers believe their study is the first to examine how the pandemic virus interacts with other flu viruses. The findings are newly published in an online scientific journal designed to fast-track science research and quickly share results with other investigators, PLOS Currents.

"The H1N1 pandemic virus has a clear biological advantage over the two main seasonal flu strains and all the makings of a virus fully adapted to humans," says virologist Daniel Perez, the lead researcher and program director of the University of Maryland-based Prevention and Control of Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project.

"I'm not surprised to find that the pandemic virus is more infectious, simply because it's new, so hosts haven't had a chance to build immunity yet. Meanwhile, the older strains encounter resistance from hosts' immunity to them," Perez adds.

Some of the animals who were infected with both the new virus and one of the more familiar seasonal viruses (H3N2) developed not only respiratory symptoms, but intestinal illness as well. Perez and his team call for additional research to see whether this kind of co-infection and multiple symptoms may account for some of the deaths attributed to the new virus.

Among other research findings, the pandemic virus successfully established infections deeper in the ferret's respiratory system, including the lungs. The H1 and H3 seasonal viruses remained in the nasal passages.

"Our findings underscore the need for vaccinating against the pandemic flu virus this season," Perez concludes. "The findings of this study are preliminary, but the far greater communicability of the pandemic virus serves as a clearly blinking warning light."

Perez and his team used samples of the H1N1 pandemic variety from last April's initial outbreak of the so-called swine flu.

The research is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Maryland. "H1N1 Pandemic Virus Does Not Mutate Into 'Superbug' In Lab Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901091731.htm>.
University of Maryland. (2009, September 1). H1N1 Pandemic Virus Does Not Mutate Into 'Superbug' In Lab Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901091731.htm
University of Maryland. "H1N1 Pandemic Virus Does Not Mutate Into 'Superbug' In Lab Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901091731.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins