Scientists Show Deadly Bird Flu Strain Is Evolving Toward Human To H

From: Clive Denton

Date: 2007-10-09 07:14:24

Note it is the U.S. that has carried out this study…..   Scientists Show Deadly Bird Flu Strain Is Evolving Toward Human To Human Form Article Date: 08 Oct 2007 – 4:00 PDT Source: Medical News Today     US scientists have shown that the deadly strain of bird flu H5N1 that has so far killed 201 of the 329 people it has infected worldwide since 2003 is gradually evolving to a pandemic form that will spread easily from human to human.In a study published in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) reported that one key evolutionary step has already been achieved in new forms of the virus that are circulating in Africa and Europe.Led by virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, the team has identified a single change in a protein on the surface of the virus that enables it to get a foothold in the cells of the upper respiratory system of mammals. The upper respiratory system is the nose and throat.This step is important because it gives the virus the ability to infect a wider range of cell types and also to spread via coughs and sneezes. However, it is not enough to make it fully contagious from mammal to mammal; other, as yet unknown, mutations would be necessary for that to happen. But Kawaoka and his team suspect that too is just a matter of time. Read Full Report

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