Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Watch the probable sequence of re-assortments for H1N1!

Are you confused as to how the current H1N1 virus that everyone's worried about came to have genes human, avian and swine viruses? FAO has produced a great animation of how they think it happened

"Many laboratories and institutions around the world have been working on various aspects of swine and human influenza, for many years. Classical H1 swine influenza viruses (SIVs) were first detected in North America in the 1930s. Reassortment of genes from swine, avian, and human viruses have occurred periodically. Triple swine, avian, and human H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 reassortant viruses have been circulating in swine since 1998, especially in North America. These viruses have also been detected in some Asian swine populations. There have been sporadic incidents (2-3 per year) of transmission of triple reassortant swine viruses and other SIVs to humans (e.g. H1N1, H1N2), but no previously reported sustained human to human transmission.

The novel H1N1 virus in humans appears to be a further reassortant of the triple reassortant swine viruses mentioned before, that now carries two genes most likely originating from Eurasian swine. Today, it is unclear why this particular virus is so transmissible among humans. Scientists around the world are working hard to answer this and other questions to gain insight and understand better how this virus might evolve."

Watch here:


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