New Evidence Shows How Some Flu Viruses Become Lethal

MADISON, Wisc. -- Studying a descendant of the 1918 influenza virus that killed at least 20 million people worldwide, University of Wisconsin-Madison virologists discovered a new molecular trick some viruses use to transform from dangerous to deadly.

In research detailed in the Aug. 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, UW-Madison virologists Hideo Goto and Yoshihiro Kawaoka have found a molecular mechanism that allows influenza viruses to cause sweeping damage throughout the body. Influenza infection is normally limited to respiratory systems, but this previously undetected process gives the virus the deadly ability to attack many organs in the body.

"This finding provides an additional marker for scientists to be aware of in their surveys of emerging viruses," said Kawaoka. "This could be another important indicator of whether a virus is dangerous and potentially lethal."

Kawaoka said the extreme virulence of the 1918 influenza virus is a public health mystery. One of the worst infectious disease outbreaks in human history, the 1918 flu killed not only vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young children, but an unusually high number of otherwise healthy young adults.

While this finding offers no definitive explanation for the 1918 virus, Kawaoka said it is a question that warrants further scientific study.

Kawaoka and Goto, researchers in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, studied a virus closely related to the 1918 strain which appeared nearly a decade later in humans. The virus is widely studied for its ability to replicate in the brains of mice, but Kawaoka also found it could replicate in a number of different organs.

Their discovery concerns proteins on the virus' surface that allow the virus to attach to target cells. Normally, a viral surface protein called hemagglutinin must be chopped into two parts before the virus can infe

Contact: Yoshihiro Kawaoka
(608) 265-4925
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Evidence builds for potential new cancer drug target
2. Evidence for sympatric speciation by host shift in the sea
3. Evidence for the impact of climate change on deep-sea biodiversity
4. Evidence for fat hormone target in brain
5. Evidence of nanobacterial-like structures found in human calcified arteries and cardiac valves
6. Evidence shows the heart has stem cells able to regenerate muscle tissue lost to disease, wear
7. Evidence for orangutan culture
8. Evidence suggests that standard smallpox vaccine offers long-term immunity
9. Evidence that adults stem cells differentiate like embryonic stem cells published in Nature
10. When Shewanella meets goethite: Evidence found of recognition between animate and inanimate objects
11. Evidence links protein damage to Parkinsons

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/21/2019)... , ... May 20, 2019 , ... ... health care field, today announced a 96.15% pass rate for first-time test takers ... This surpasses the national average of 76.43% by nearly 20 points. , ...
(Date:5/16/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 16, 2019 , ... SFC ... as part of the Industry Development and Discovery Partnership that was awarded to SFC ... of a single integrated pod artificial pancreas (AP) system for people with type 1 ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 13, 2019 , ... BioMedGPS ... a very special Pre-EWMA 2019 event at Gothenburg’s Universeum Aquarium. Guests will be ... and Innovations in Advanced Wound Care. , SmartTRAK’s Advanced Wound Care Experts will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/8/2019)... ... 08, 2019 , ... US Capital Global Securities , an affiliate of ... in the privately held pharmaceutical company, S1 Biopharma (“S1”). , S1 has a pipeline ... hypoactive sexual dysfunction disorder and is ready to begin phase 2b trials. In phase ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... ... April 03, 2019 , ... ... intimate off-the-record collaboration and dialogue, today announces its Boston CEO conference to be ... into the industry’s challenges and opportunities with high-level panels and discussions from past, ...
(Date:3/27/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2019 , ... In honor ... raise awareness on the importance of healthy meals and good nutrition. This month, ... the Food Bank’s volunteer chef. , The first segment addressed the nutritional ...
(Date:3/23/2019)... ... March 22, 2019 , ... Tosoh Bioscience LLC ... (MALS) detector , offering a revolutionary approach for the measurement of molecular weight ... A novel optical design, a unique cell-block assembly, and a new calculation methodology ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: