Caister Academic Press

Virulence Genes of the 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus

Natalie Pica, Terrence M. Tumpey, Adolfo García-Sastre and Peter Palese
from: Influenza: Molecular Virology (Edited by: Qinghua Wang and Yizhi Jane Tao). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)

Abstract

The pandemic influenza virus of 1918 was extremely virulent and caused significant morbidity and mortality to millions of people worldwide. The extinct virus caused severe pathology in both the upper and lower respiratory tract, resulting in fatal respiratory complications and bacterial pneumonia. The pathology associated with 1918 influenza virus infections is thought to be the result of the exposure of an immunologically naïve host population to an unusually virulent virus. Using reverse genetics, the 1918 pandemic virus has been studied in different animal models in an attempt to determine which viral genes contribute to the increased virulence. Studies to date point to the role of the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and the polymerase basic protein 1 genes as the virulence genes responsible for the high pathogenicity seen with the 1918 influenza virus read more ...
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