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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hong Kong : Mutation gave H1N1 wings

Via The Standard :

" The human swine flu virus running rampant two years ago acquired a unique gene mutation from Mexican and Eurasian pig flu viruses that gave it the ability to spread through the air.

This was found in a study led by the University of Hong Kong, and the results will make it possible to predict whether a new animal flu virus may pose a pandemic threat to humans.

The H1N1 human swine flu virus emerged through mutation of a Mexican "triple reassortant" swine flu virus, which first surfaced in the 1990s, and Eurasian swine flu viruses of avian origin recorded in Europe in the late 1970s.

The team studied infected ferrets over 13 years in southern mainland provinces to arrive at their findings, released in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "None would transmit efficiently by the airborne route except for one which had a very weak transmissibility [by this route]," microbiology chair professor and Pasteur Research Centre scientific director Malik Peiris said."

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