Submitted to: American Society for Virology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 6/30/2002
Citation: Basler, C.F., Tumpey, T., Mikulasova, A., Garcia-Sastre, A., Taubenberger, J.K., Swayne, D.E., Palese, P. 2002. Would the 1918 Pandemic Influenza Virus Be A Threat Today? American Society for Virology Meeting. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The 1918 influenza pandemic caused more than 20 million deaths worldwide. Under biosafety level 3Ag containment, a recombinant influenza virus bearing the 1918 influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) was generated. This virus is highly virulent in mice, pointing to the 1918 HA and 1918 NA proteins as virulence factors. This virus is sensitive to FDA approved NA inhibitors, and prior infection with influenza viruses bearing HA molecules from early or recent human isolates protects against a lethal challenge with the 1918-HA 1918-NA virus. Thus, effective vaccine and antiviral approaches are available for use against such a virus. Further, the exposure of most individuals to the currently circulating H1N1 viruses likely offers some protection against a re-emergent 1918 virus.