Researchers in Germany have developed a transgenic mouse that could help scientists identify new influenza virus strains with the potential to cause a global pandemic.
The mouse is described in a study, “In vivo evasion of MxA by avian influenza viruses requires human signature in the viral nucleoprotein,” that will be published April 10 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Influenza A viruses can cause devastating pandemics when they are transmitted to humans from pigs, birds, or other animal species. To cross the species barrier and establish themselves in the human population, influenza strains must acquire mutations that allow them to evade components of the human immune system, including, perhaps, the innate immune protein MxA. This protein can protect cultured human cells from avian influenza viruses but is ineffective against strains that have acquired the ability to infect humans.
To investigate whether MxA provides a similar barrier to cross-species infection in vivo, Peter Staeheli and colleagues at the Institute of Virology, Medical Center University of Freiburg, created transgenic mice that express human, rather than mouse, MxA. Similar to the results obtained with cultured human cells, the transgenic mice were resistant to avian influenza viruses but susceptible to flu viruses of human origin.
MxA is thought to target influenza A by binding to the nucleoprotein that encapsulates the virus’ genome, and mutations in this nucleoprotein have been linked to the virus’ ability to infect human cells. Staeheli and colleagues found that an avian influenza virus engineered to contain these mutations was able to infect and cause disease in the transgenic mice expressing human MxA.
MxA is therefore a barrier against cross-species influenza A infection, but one that the virus can evade through a few mutations in its nucleoprotein. Staeheli and colleagues think that their transgenic mice could help monitor the potential dangers of emerging viral strains. “Our MxA-transgenic mouse can readily distinguish between MxA-sensitive influenza virus strains and virus strains that can evade MxA restriction and, consequently, possess a high pandemic potential in humans,” Staeheli says. “Such analyses could complement current risk assessment strategies of emerging influenza viruses, including viral genome sequencing and screening for alterations in known viral virulence genes.”
[osd_subscribe categories=’pandemics’ placeholder=’Email Address’ button_text=’Subscribe Now for any new posts on the topic “PANDEMICS”‘]
The Latest on: Pandemics
[google_news title=”” keyword=”pandemics” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Pandemics
- Social Media and Search Engines Can Now Forecast Disease Outbreakson December 4, 2023 at 8:30 am
Powerful algorithms can now analyze large data sets from search engines and social media for clues about how health trends will play out - and may be able to help prevent future pandemics.
- Mutorwa calls for protection of seafarers during pandemicson December 4, 2023 at 5:00 am
Minister of works and transport John Mutorwa says there is a need to make sure seafarers are not deprived of medical support and offshore time in the case of future pandemics.
- Worrying bout Pandemics Is So 2020. Should It Be?on December 4, 2023 at 2:21 am
Amid all the concerns about inflation, interest rates and wars this year, at least investors haven’t needed to worry about pandemics. But maybe they should: The risks haven’t gone away. Exhibit one: ...
- Worrying about Pandemics Is so 2020. Should It Be?on December 4, 2023 at 2:21 am
Access to healthcare is a key driver of economic growth in emerging and developing nations, but the lessons from the Covid-19 crisis are being quickly forgotten.
- 8 worst pandemics that shook the Worldon November 29, 2023 at 10:43 pm
Pandemics are large-scale infectious disease outbreaks that have the potential to spread quickly throughout the world and result in a great deal of misery and death. These are eight of the world's ...
- Influenza Pandemics of 1918 and 2009on November 25, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Experiences from the 1918 and 20th century influenza pandemics helped immensely in the preparation of a better response for A(H1N1)pdm09. The explosive pattern of the 1918 pandemic makes it a ...
- The 10 Chilling Laws of Pandemicson November 23, 2023 at 9:59 pm
Pandemics spawn irrational movements for rational reasons. Quarantines, masks and the curtailment of mobility are blunt but effective instruments requiring a high degree of public consensus and ...
- Saving the world from pollution and pandemicson November 22, 2023 at 9:23 am
The Diwali season is now marked by choking air pollution and distress. We hear of quite a few preventive and control actions. But the problem persists. Pandemics are another threat. Covid-19 has been ...
- The Role of Editorial Cartoons in Addressing Pandemicson November 12, 2023 at 12:48 am
During pandemics, these cartoons have played a crucial role in conveying important information, educating the public, and sometimes even providing a source of solace through humor. Pandemics are often ...
via Bing News