Influenza Virus Net is the web resource for anyone interested in influenza and flu pandemics. The objectives of Influenza Virus Net are to be the public and professional information resource for influenza and to serve as a network in the exchange of information and news related to influenza.
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects humans, birds and other mammals. The virus spreads easily from person to person. Influenza circulates worldwide and can affect anybody in any age group. Influenza causes annual epidemics that peak during winter in temperate regions. Influenza is a serious public health problem that causes severe illnesses and deaths for higher risk populations. The most common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort. Sore throat, fever and coughs are the most frequent symptoms. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly for the young and the elderly. An influenza epidemic can take an economic toll through lost workforce productivity, and strain health services. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection.
- Fitness screening and flu shot clinics begin today - Iowa City Press Citizen
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:24:
- What you need to know about the 2014-2015 flu season - WKYC-TV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:17:
- Brush up good health habits to protect yourself against cold and flu - iStreet Research
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:13:
- Falls & Flu Prevention Day - Burlington County Times
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:20:
- Drive-Thru Flu Clinic Returns to Perdue Stadium - WBOC TV 16
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 03:21:
- Whitfield Co. Health Dept's drive-by flu shot clinic to serve pe - WRCBtv.com ... - WRCB-TV
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 02:09:
- Flu Scan for Sep 16, 2014 - CIDRAP
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:02:
- Student Health Services offers aid for students for the upcoming flu season - Vidette Online
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:
- Flu vaccine available in Southwest Georgia - The Albany Herald
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 01:04:
- It's time for your flu shots - Early County News
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:33:
- PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza, swine - USA: novel strains, H3N1, alert
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:51:13
Influenza -- United States
- Evaluation of a fully human monoclonal antibody against multiple Influenza A viral strains in mice and a pandemic H1N1 strain in nonhuman primates.
Song A, Myojo K, Laudenslager J, et al. Evaluation of a fully human monoclonal antibody against multiple Influenza A viral strains in mice and a pandemic H1N1 strain in nonhuman primates. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Antiviral Res 2014 Sep 10.Influenza virus is a global health concern due to its unpredictable pandemic potential. Frequent mutations of surface molecules, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), contribute to low efficacy of the annual flu vaccine and therapeutic resistance to standard antiviral agents. The populations at high risk of influenza virus infection, such as the elderly and infants, generally mount low immune responses to vaccines, and develop severe disease after infection. Novel therapeutics with high effectiveness and mutation resistance are needed. Previously, we described the generation of a fully human influenza virus matrix protein 2 (M2) specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), Z3G1, which recognized the majority of M2 variants from natural viral isolates, including highly pathogenic avian strains. Passive immunotherapy with Z3G1 significantly protected mice from the infection when administered either prophylactically or 1-2 days post infection. In the present study, we showed that Z3G1 significantly protected mice from lethal infection when treatment was initiated 3 days post infection. In addition, therapeutic administration of Z3G1 reduced lung viral titers in mice infected with different viral strains, including amantadine- and oseltamivir-resistant strains. Furthermore, prophylactic and therapeutic administration of Z3G1 sustained O2 saturation and reduced lung pathology in monkeys infected with a pandemic H1N1 strain. Finally, de-fucosylated Z3G1 with an IgG1/IgG3 chimeric Fc region was generated (AccretaMab(®) Z3G1), and showed increased ADCC and CDC in vitro. Our data suggest that the anti-M2 mAb Z3G1 has great potential as a novel anti-flu therapeutic agent.
- The global condition of epidemics: Panoramas in A (H1N1) influenza and their consequences for One World One Health programme.
Tirado F, Gómez A, Rocamora V The global condition of epidemics: Panoramas in A (H1N1) influenza and their consequences for One World One Health programme. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Soc Sci Med 2014 Sep 3.Among the most relevant elements contributing to define the One World One Health programme we find epidemics. The reason is that in recent decades, infectious diseases such as HIV/SIDA, SARS and Influenza have shown that we need new approaches and concepts in order to understand how biological emergencies and health alerts deploy new scales of action. Especially relevant has been the case of A(H1N1) influenza. This reached the status of global threat virtually from its onset, triggering an international response with a diffusion, visibility and rapidity unparalleled in previous health alerts. This article maintains that this global condition cannot be explained solely by the epidemiologic characteristics of the disease, such as mortality rate, severe cases, propagation capacity, etc. Resorting to the approach proposed by the Actor-Network Theory (ANT), this paper suggests that the action of certain socio-technical operators was what built a heterogeneous network of ideas, concepts and materials that turned the A (H1N1) influenza into a global-scale phenomenon with unprecedented speed. Among these operators, the most important ones were: the speaking position, a discourse about threat, the protocols and guidelines that were used and, lastly, the maps that allowed a real-time monitoring of the influenza. The paper ends with the notion of panorama, as defined by Bruno Latour: a suggestion to describe the common denominator of the aforementioned operators, and a means to foresee the development of global scales for certain health alerts. The paper will conclude by proposing that this type of analysis would allow the One World One Health to understand with greater precision the dynamic of epidemics and thus make its principles of action much more specific as well as its definition of what global health should be.
- Comparative Analysis of Virulence of a Novel, Avian-Origin H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus in Various Host Species.
Lyoo KS, Kim JK, Kang B, et al. Comparative Analysis of Virulence of a Novel, Avian-Origin H3N2 Canine Influenza Virus in Various Host Species. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Virus Res 2014 Sep 10.A novel avian-origin H3N2 canine influenza A virus (CIV) that showed high sequence similarities in hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes with those of non-pathogenic avian influenza viruses was isolated in our routine surveillance program in South Korea. We previously reported that the pathogenicity of this strain could be reproduced in dogs and cats. In the present study, the host tropism of H3N2 CIV was examined by experimental inoculation into several host species, including chickens, pigs, mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets. The CIV infection resulted in no overt symptoms of disease in these host species. However, sero-conversion, virus shedding, and gross and histopathologic lung lesions were observed in guinea pig and ferrets but not in pigs, or mice. Based on the genetic similarity of our H3N2 CIV with currently circulating avian influenza viruses and the presence of α-2,3-linked rather than α-2,6-linked sialic acid receptors in the respiratory tract of dogs, we believed that this strain of CIV would have avian virus-like receptor specificity, but that seems to be contrary to our findings in the present study. Further studies are needed to determine the co-receptors of hemagglutinin or post-attachment factors related to virus internalization or pathogenesis in other animals.
- Herpes zoster is associated with herpes simplex and other infections in under 60 year-olds.
Ogunjimi B, Buntinx F, Bartholomeeusen S, et al. Herpes zoster is associated with herpes simplex and other infections in under 60 year-olds. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]J Infect 2014 Sep 8.We assessed the association between herpes zoster (HZ) and herpes simplex (HS) occurrence whilst controlling for risk factors of HZ.Using a Belgian general practitioner network, a retrospective cohort study with 3736 HZ patients and 14076 age-gender-practice matched controls was performed, covering over 1.5 million patient-years. Multiple logistic regression was used with HZ as outcome and several diagnoses (malignancy, depression, diabetes mellitus, auto-immune diseases, asthma, multiple sclerosis, HIV, fractures), medications (systemic corticosteroids, biologicals, vaccination), HS and other infections as variables.HS was significantly associated with HZ for all analysed time intervals (up to five years) post HZ (OR of 3.51 [2.09 5.88] 95%CI one year post HZ) and to a lesser extent for time ranges pre HZ. Registration of other infections was significantly associated with HZ in all time intervals pre and post HZ (OR up to 1.37). Malignancy up to five years pre HZ, depression up to one year pre or post HZ, fractures up to two year pre HZ, asthma, auto-immune diseases, and immunosuppressive medication one year pre or post HZ were also associated with HZ.HZ and HS occurrences are significantly associated and potentially share a common susceptibility beyond the known risk factors.
- Evaluation of safety and efficacy as an adjuvant for the chitosan-based vaccine delivery vehicle ViscoGel in a single-blind randomised Phase I/IIa clinical trial.
Neimert-Andersson T, Binnmyr J, Enoksson M, et al. Evaluation of safety and efficacy as an adjuvant for the chitosan-based vaccine delivery vehicle ViscoGel in a single-blind randomised Phase I/IIa clinical trial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Vaccine 2014 Sep 10.ViscoGel, a chitosan-based hydrogel, has earlier been shown to improve humoral and cell-mediated immune responses in mice. In this study, a Phase I/IIa clinical trial was conducted to primarily evaluate safety and secondarily to study the effects of ViscoGel in combination with a model vaccine, Act-HIB to Haemophilus influenzae type b, administered as a single intramuscular injection. Healthy volunteers of both sexes, ages 22-50 and not previously vaccinated to HIB, were recruited. The trial had two phases. In Phase A, three ascending dose levels of ViscoGel (25, 50 and 75mg) were evaluated for safety in 3×10 subjects. Phase B had a single-blind, randomised, parallel-group design evaluating safety and efficacy in five groups, 20 subjects/group, comparing vaccination with 0.2μg or 2μg Act-HIB alone or combined with ViscoGel (50mg) and one group receiving the standard Act-HIB dose (10μg). No safety or tolerability concerns were identified. Local, transient reactions at the injection site were the most common adverse events. These were more frequent in groups receiving Act-HIB+ViscoGel, while other AEs were recorded at similar frequency in Act-HIB and Act-HIB+ViscoGel groups. Efficacy was evaluated by measuring serum anti-HIB antibodies and cellular responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). There was a large variation in baseline anti-HIB antibody titres and no adjuvant effect was observed on the anti-HIB antibody production in groups vaccinated with Act-HIB+ViscoGel. ELISpot analyses revealed increased interferon-γ (IFN-γ) responses to Act-HIB in PBMCs from subjects vaccinated with Act-HIB in combination with ViscoGel, compared to groups receiving Act-HIB alone. Moreover, ViscoGel counteracted an inhibitory effect of Act-HIB vaccination on the IFN-γ response to both the vaccine itself and an irrelevant influenza antigen. In summary, ViscoGel was found to be safe and well-tolerated, supporting further examination of ViscoGel as a new innovative vehicle for vaccine development.
- Novel vector vaccine against Brucella abortus based on influenza A viruses expressing Brucella L7/L12 or Omp16 proteins: Evaluation of protection in pregnant heifers.
Tabynov K, Yespembetov B, Sansyzbay A Novel vector vaccine against Brucella abortus based on influenza A viruses expressing Brucella L7/L12 or Omp16 proteins: Evaluation of protection in pregnant heifers. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Vaccine 2014 Sep 10.AbstractPublisher Full TextThe present study provides the first information about the protection of a novel influenza viral vector vaccine expressing the Brucella proteins ribosomal L7/L12 or Omp16 containing the adjuvant Montanide Gel01 in pregnant heifers. Immunization of pregnant heifers was conducted via the conjunctival (n=10) or subcutaneous (n=10) route using cross prime and booster vaccination schedules at an interval of 28 days. The vector vaccine was evaluated in comparison with positive control groups vaccinated with Brucella abortus S19 (n=10) or B. abortus RB51 (n=10) and a negative (PBS+Montanide Gel01; n=10) control group. Via both the conjunctival or subcutaneous route, evaluation of protectiveness against abortion, effectiveness of vaccination and index of infection (in heifers and their fetuses or calves) demonstrated the vector vaccine provided good protection against B. abortus 544 infection compared to the negative control group (PBS+Montanide Gel01) and comparable protection to commercial vaccines B. abortus S19 or B. abortus RB51.
- Health care professionals' awareness of, knowledge about and attitude to influenza vaccination.
Alshammari TM, AlFehaid LS, AlFraih JK, et al. Health care professionals' awareness of, knowledge about and attitude to influenza vaccination. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Vaccine 2014 Sep 9.AbstractPublisher Full TextInfluenza vaccination is recommended to all health care professionals (HCPs). However, vaccination rate among HCPs is low and may be due to uncertainty about the effectiveness of the vaccine and fear of its adverse effects. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the awareness, knowledge, and attitude of HCPs towards influenza vaccination and we ascertain reasons for not getting vaccinated.A cross-sectional conducted in 6 major hospitals in Saudi Arabia. 245 anonymous questionnaires were distributed to a convenient sample of staff during the 2012-2013 influenza season. The validated questionnaire consists of five sections that collect information about: demographics, attitude towards influenza vaccination, knowledge about influenza virus and vaccination, current practice and awareness of published guidelines.242 completed questionnaires were received, a response rate of 98%. 38% of HCPs reported getting vaccinated. The most common reasons given by HCPs for not getting vaccinated were: fear of contracting illness (16%), belief that they are not at risk from influenza because they are young and healthy (13%) and being unaware of vaccine availability (13%). Non-availability of vaccine (43%) was the highest barrier for not providing vaccine for patients and HCPs followed by safety concerns for the patients (35%) and the respondents (33%). Almost 75% of HCPs were not aware of the influenza immunization guidelines published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Centre for Disease Control.Despite the recommendations, only low percentage of HCPs in Saudi Arabian hospitals is vaccinated against influenza. The attention of health policy makers is needed to improve compliance of HCPs with guidelines on influenza vaccination.
- Multi-colored immunochromatography using nanobeads for rapid and sensitive typing of seasonal influenza viruses.
Sakurai A, Takayama K, Nomura N, et al. Multi-colored immunochromatography using nanobeads for rapid and sensitive typing of seasonal influenza viruses. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]J Virol Methods 2014 Sep 10.Immunochromatography (IC) is an antigen-detection assay that plays an important role in the rapid diagnosis of influenza viruses because of its rapid turnaround and ease of use. Despite the usefulness of IC, the limit of detection of common IC kits is as high as 10(3)-10(4) plaque forming units (pfu) per reaction, resulting in their limited sensitivities. Early diagnosis within 24h would provide more appropriate timing of treatment. In this study, a multi-colored NanoAct™ bead IC was established to detect seasonal influenza viruses. This method has approximately 10-fold higher sensitivity than that of colloidal gold or colored latex bead IC assays, and does not require specific instruments. More notably, NanoAct™ bead IC can distinguish influenza A and B viruses from clinical samples with a straightforward readout composed of colored lines. Our results will provide new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and a chance to survey of influenza viruses in developing countries and in the field research.
- Incidence of influenza-associated hospitalization in rural communities in Western and Northern India, 2010-2012: A multi-site population-based study.
Hirve S, Krishnan A, Dawood FS, et al. Incidence of influenza-associated hospitalization in rural communities in Western and Northern India, 2010-2012: A multi-site population-based study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]J Infect 2014 Sep 9.The global burden of influenza is increasingly recognized, but data from India remain sparse. We conducted a multi-site population-based surveillance study to estimate and compare rates of influenza-associated hospitalization at two rural Indian health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) sites at Ballabgarh and Vadu during 2010-2012.Prospective facility-based surveillance for all hospitalizations (excluding those for trauma, elective surgery and obstetric, ophthalmic or psychiatric reasons) was conducted at 72 health facilities. After collection of clinical details, patients had nasopharyngeal swabs taken and tested by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for influenza viruses. Annual healthcare utilization surveys (HUS) were conducted in HDSS households to identify proportion of hospitalizations occurring at non-study facilities to adjust for hospitalizations missed through facility-based surveillance.HUS showed that 69% and 67% of hospitalizations occurred at study facilities at Ballabgarh and Vadu respectively. Overall, 6,004 patients hospitalized with acute medical illness at participating facilities were enrolled (1,717 from Ballabgarh; 4,287 from Vadu). The proportion of patients with influenza was higher at Vadu than Ballabgarh annually (2010: 21% vs. 5%, p<0.05; 2011: 18% vs. 5%, p<0.05; 2012: 23% vs. 5%, p<0.05). Annual adjusted influenza-associated hospitalization rates were 5-11 fold higher in Vadu (20.3-51.6 per 10,000) versus Ballabgarh (4.4-6.3 per 10,000). At both sites, influenza A/H1N1pdm09 and B predominated during 2010, A/H3N2 and B during 2011, and A/H1N1pdm09 and B during 2012.The markedly different influenza hospitalization rates by season and across communities in India highlight the need for sustained multi-site surveillance system for estimating national influenza disease burden. That would be the first step for initiating discussions around Influenza prevention and control strategies in the country.
- Risk based surveillance for early detection of low pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in layer chickens.
Gonzales JL, Boender GJ, Elbers AR, et al. Risk based surveillance for early detection of low pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in layer chickens. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Prev Vet Med 2014 Sep 3.Current knowledge does not allow the prediction of when low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) of the H5 and H7 subtypes infecting poultry will mutate to their highly pathogenic phenotype (HPAIV). This mutation may already take place in the first infected flock; hence early detection of LPAIV outbreaks will reduce the likelihood of pathogenicity mutations and large epidemics. The objective of this study was the development of a model for the design and evaluation of serological-surveillance programmes, with a particular focus on early detection of LPAIV infections in layer chicken flocks. Early detection is defined as the detection of an infected flock before it infects on average more than one other flock (between-flock reproduction ratio Rf<1), hence a LPAI introduction will be detected when only one or a few other flocks are infected. We used a mathematical model that investigates the required sample size and sampling frequency for early detection by taking into account the LPAIV within- and between-flock infection dynamics as well as the diagnostic performance of the serological test used. Since layer flocks are the target of the surveillance, we also explored whether the use of eggs, is a good alternative to sera, as sample commodity. The model was used to refine the current Dutch serological-surveillance programme. LPAIV transmission-risk maps were constructed and used to target a risk-based surveillance strategy. In conclusion, we present a model that can be used to explore different sampling strategies, which combined with a cost-benefit analysis would enhance surveillance programmes for low pathogenic avian influenza.