Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How ducks host influenza unharmed: Could findings shield humans from bird flu viruses?

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Scientists have identified the genetic detector that allows ducks to live, unharmed, as the host of influenza. The duck's virus detector gene, RIG-I, enables a duck's immune system to contain the virus, which typically spreads from ducks to chickens, where it mutates and can evolve to be a human threat like the H5N1 influenza virus.

Mallard duck with fifteen ducklings. Researchers have identified the genetic detector that allows ducks to live, unharmed, as the host of influenza.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andy Gehrig

A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered an influenza detector gene that could potentially prevent the transmission of the virus to humans.

Katharine Magor, a U of A associate professor of biology, has identified the genetic detector that allows ducks to live, unharmed, as the host of influenza. The duck's virus detector gene, called retinoic acid inducible gene -- I, or RIG-I, enables a duck's immune system to contain the virus, which typically spreads from ducks to chickens, where it mutates and can evolve to be a human threat like the H5N1 influenza virus. The first human H5N1 cases were in Hong Kong in 1997. Eighteen people with close contact to chickens became infected and six died.

Magor's research shows chickens do not have a RIG-I gene. A healthy chicken can die within 18 hours after infection, but researchers have successfully transferred the RIG-I gene from ducks to chicken cells. The chicken's defenses against influenza were augmented and RIG-I reduced viral replication by half.

One potential application of this research could affect the worldwide poultry industry by production of an influenza-resistant chicken created by transgenesis.

The work of Katharine Magor, her U of A PhD candidate Megan Barber, and researchers from the United States (Jerry Aldridge and Robert Webster) was published March 22, in the online, early edition of Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Barber et al. Association of RIG-I with innate immunity of ducks to influenza. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010; 107 (13): 5913 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001755107

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "How ducks host influenza unharmed: Could findings shield humans from bird flu viruses?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151942.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2010, April 9). How ducks host influenza unharmed: Could findings shield humans from bird flu viruses?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151942.htm
University of Alberta. "How ducks host influenza unharmed: Could findings shield humans from bird flu viruses?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151942.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
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