Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer model for projecting severity of flu season

Date:
December 8, 2010
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have developed a statistical model for projecting how many people will get sick from seasonal influenza based on analyses of flu viruses circulating that season.

Researchers have developed a statistical model for projecting how many people will get sick from seasonal influenza based on analyses of flu viruses circulating that season. The research, conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health, appears December 8 in the open-access publication PLoS Currents: Influenza.

Building on other research that has shown that severity of infections with the Influenza A virus is related to its novelty (i.e., how much the virus has changed, or mutated, from prior seasons), the study evaluated the correlation between virus novelty and the epidemiologic severity of influenza from the 1993/1994 flu season through the 2008/2009 season. Virus novelty was assessed through analysis of genetic data (sequences of hemagglutinin proteins from virus samples) and serological data (hemagglutinin inhibition results). The research focused on H3N2 influenza, the influenza subtype responsible for the most severe influenza seasons during inter-pandemic periods.

The results showed that more than 90% of the variation in influenza severity over the periods studied could be explained by the novelty of the virus' hemagglutinin protein.

The researchers also assessed whether influenza sequence and serological data for viruses isolated in the Southern Hemisphere influenza season correlated with influenza severity that occurred in the later influenza season in the Northern Hemisphere. Results showed that the projections explained 66% of the variance in severity in the Northern Hemisphere.

The ability to accurately predict influenza severity suggests that with appropriate surveillance methods, scientists could make more informed decisions in planning for influenza, including the selection of vaccines. For example, in selecting a vaccine for the coming season, it would be helpful to know that one circulating virus in the current season was likely to produce much more severe influenza than the other circulating viruses.

Edward Holmes (The Pennsylvania State University), an expert on the evolution of flu viruses, and one of the Editors of PLoS Currents: Influenza commented: "this paper represents a major step forward in our ability to predict the behavior of influenza and simultaneously opens up a new field of study."

This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NCBI/NLM/NIH and FIC/NIH.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuri I Wolf, Anastasia Nikolskaya, Joshua L. Cherry, Cecile Viboud, Eugene Koonin, and David J. Lipman. Projection of seasonal influenza severity from sequence and serological data. PLoS Currents: Influenza, 2010 December 3; 2: RRN1200 [link]

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Computer model for projecting severity of flu season." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208142253.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2010, December 8). Computer model for projecting severity of flu season. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208142253.htm
Public Library of Science. "Computer model for projecting severity of flu season." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208142253.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$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
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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

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