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Monday, August 31, 2009
Studies in Animals Suggest 2009 H1N1 Virus May Have Biological Advantage Over Seasonal Influenza Viruses
Preliminary findings in ferrets suggest that the novel 2009 H1N1 influenza virus may outcompete human seasonal influenza viruses, researchers say. Tests in animals showed that levels of the 2009 H1N1 virus rose more quickly than levels of the seasonal virus strains, and the new virus caused more severe disease. In line with previous findings by other research groups, the University of Maryland researchers also observed that the novel H1N1 virus was transmitted more easily from infected to uninfected ferrets than either of the two seasonal influenza viruses.
The investigators' findings are posted on PLoS Currents: Influenza, a Web site for rapid communication of new scientific data on influenza. Submissions to PLoS Currents: Influenza are screened by a panel of leading influenza experts prior to posting but do not undergo formal peer review. The new research may be submitted later for peer review and eventual publication in scientific journals.
This research was supported in part through the NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program. http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/LabsAndResources/resources/ceirs/
For more information on influenza, visit www.flu.gov for one-stop access to U.S. government information on avian and pandemic influenza. Also, visit NIAID's Flu Portal, http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Flu/default.htm
NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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D Perez et al. Fitness of pandemic H1N1 and seasonal influenza A viruses during co-infection. PLoS Currents: Influenza. Posted Aug. 25, 2009. RRN1011. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/rrn/RRN1011
Additional information about research in Dr. Perez's laboratory is at: http://avianflu.umd.edu/Avian_Influenza_Program/Avianflu.html