Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Origins of the pandemic: Lessons of H1N1

Date:
January 27, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
As H1N1 "swine flu" returns to the national headlines, a new research paper reveals the key lessons about the origins of the 2009 pandemic. The article reveals how the pandemic challenges the traditional understanding of "antigenic shift", given that the virus emerged from an existing influenza subtype.

As H1N1 'Swine Flu' returns to the national headlines a new research paper reveals the key lessons about the origins of the 2009 pandemic. The paper, published January 12 in BioEssays, reveals how the pandemic challenges the traditional understanding of 'antigenic shift' , given that the virus emerged from an existing influenza subtype.

Related Articles


"H1N1 emerged in February 2009 in Mexico and swept around the globe within 6 months." said Professor Hans Dieter Klenk from Philipps-Universitδt Marburg. "The conventional ideal is that pandemics are fuelled by new strands which emerge in the human population, yet it was because H1N1 did not conform to this ideal that its spread was so unexpected."

Professor Klenk's review of the pandemic focuses on antigens, substances which trigger the immune system when introduced into the body. Influenza viruses have two antigens, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA).

"It was widely believed that a pandemic occurs when a virus with a new HA, or a new HA and a new NA that are not recognised by the human immune system emerges and spreads throughout the population," said Klenk, "this is known as antigenic shift."

While it was believed that this process has always involved the introduction of a new NA or HA subtype, the 2009 pandemic revealed that a pandemic can result from a shift within the lineages of the existing subtypes.

"There are 16 HA and 9 NA subtypes, which differ significantly, but contain multiple lineages that were always believed to be too similar to allow antigenic shift. However, this is exactly what occurred in 2009," said Klenk.

In the 2009 outbreak a strain of H1N1 containing new HA and NA lineages caused a pandemic even though H1N1 had already circulated through the human population, thus revealing an antigenic shift from within the same subtype.

"From studying the influenza outbreaks of 1918, 1957 or 1977 it looks as if pandemics only occur when a new HA or NA subtype enters the population. This meant that vaccination against the previous viruses offered little protection against infection by the new strain," concluded Klenk. "However, the 2009 outbreak overturns this rule, revealing that a pandemic may not depend on the introduction of a virus with a new HA subtype. This means future research should not simply monitor one or a few viruses and that plans to deal with pandemics must be flexible enough to handle the unexpected.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Origins of the pandemic: Lessons of H1N1." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110112201737.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, January 27). Origins of the pandemic: Lessons of H1N1. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110112201737.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Origins of the pandemic: Lessons of H1N1." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110112201737.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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