Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds

Date:
January 20, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
The two strains of the H1N1 influenza virus responsible for the 1918 and 2009 global flu pandemics do not cause disease in birds. It is unlikely that birds played a role in the spread of the H1N1 virus in these pandemics, according to new research.

The two strains of the H1N1 influenza virus responsible for the 1918 and 2009 global flu pandemics do not cause disease in birds. The results of the study, published in the February issue of the Journal of General Virology, also show it is unlikely that birds played a role in the spread of the H1N1 virus in these pandemics.

Scientists from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) in Winnipeg, Canada, together with collaborators in the USA, injected the 2009 and 1918 H1N1 virus strains individually into chickens. None developed flu symptoms or showed any signs of tissue damage up to18 days later, although about half the chickens developed antibodies against the 1918 H1N1 virus showing limited infection. The 1918 H1N1 virus also did not cause disease in ducks. The origin of the 1918 H1N1 virus is unknown and despite its genetic similarity to avian influenzas, the results of this study show it is unlikely to have jumped the species barrier from chickens to humans.

Different strains of influenza cause disease in humans, birds and pigs; each type of virus is adapted to cause infection in its host. All cause similar respiratory symptoms. If flu viruses are passed back and forth between hosts (e.g. through close human contact with infected animals) the mixing can lead to development of a novel strain. As they have not encountered the virus before, the human population has little or no immunity to a novel strain which can easily cause infection and spread from person to person. This may ultimately lead to a global flu pandemic.

Dr Shawn Babiuk, a scientist with the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease who led the research, said, "Working out how major human pandemic flu viruses affect birds and other domestic animal species is crucial in discovering what role, if any, they play in spreading viruses in the human population." Such studies can inform government decisions in responding to outbreaks of influenza in birds, which have major implications for poultry producers. According to Dr Babiuk, "These findings support the use of normal veterinary management practices in poultry infected with pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza and demonstrate that quarantining and culling infected stocks is not necessary."

Dr Babiuk explained that viruses can behave unpredictably. "Our understanding of exactly how influenza viruses go on to cause pandemics is still limited," he said. "Although our research indicates that birds are unlikely to have played a part in the spread of the 1918 and latest 2009 H1N1 pandemic viruses, they may well still play a part in future pandemics."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119213039.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, January 20). 1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119213039.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119213039.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. 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