Researchers to look for bovine influenza antibodies in humans

May 28, 2014, South Dakota State University

An emerging virus discovered in pigs and later in cows may have affected people without them even knowing it, according to South Dakota State University research assistant professor Natalie Thiex of the biology and microbiology department.

Thiex, an epidemiologist, and senior Alyssa Petersen, a psychology and premed major, will conduct a survey to determine if people have developed antibodies for bovine influenza through a one-year $6,970 grant from the SDSU Research and Scholarship Committee. Professor Feng Li, a virologist, and associate professor Russ Daly, SDSU Extension veterinarian, are also involved.

This summer the researchers hope to survey 300 people living on farms and in cities within a 50- to 100-mile radius of Brookings. Participants will fill out a questionnaire about their health history, exposure to livestock, and basic demographic data and then give a blood sample. Thiex estimates this will take about 30 minutes.

Those interested in participating can contact Thiex at 605-688-5874 or natalie.thiex@sdstate.edu to volunteer.

Thiex learned about bovine influenza through a presentation Li gave on campus. He and other veterinary science researchers are part of the team of scientists that identified and sequenced the genome of the , which has 50 percent similarity to the human influenza C virus that typically causes very mild respiratory symptoms in people. The virus was originally identified and characterized by Ben Hause, now an assistant research professor at Kansas State University, while completing his doctorate at SDSU.

Subsequently, the research team discovered bovine influenza antibodies in 1.3 percent of blood samples collected from residents in Connecticut and British Columbia during two influenza seasons from 2007 to 2009. However, no information was available about whether these people had contact with animals.

"We are hoping to find volunteers to be a part of this study so we can gather baseline data about this emerging virus. Characterizing the prevalence and pathogenicity of new influenza viruses is a public health priority," Thiex said.

She and Petersen also plan to recruit participants by attending events, such as regional dairy and veterinary meetings and Dakotafest.

Explore further: Distinct avian influenza viruses found in Antarctic penguins

Related Stories

Distinct avian influenza viruses found in Antarctic penguins

May 6, 2014
An international team of researchers has, for the first time, identified an avian influenza virus in a group of Adélie penguins from Antarctica. The virus, found to be unlike any other circulating avian flu, is described ...

Novel therapeutic agent for Tamiflu-resistant pH1N1 influenza virus discovered

April 24, 2014
In 2009 the influenza pH1N1 virus caused the first flu pandemic in the 21st century. The virus reached Finland in May 2009 and killed more than 50 people in the country. Since 2011 the pH1N1 virus infects Finns mainly during ...

Reconstructed 1918 influenza virus has yielded key insights, scientists say

September 11, 2012
The genetic sequencing and reconstruction of the 1918 influenza virus that killed 50 million people worldwide have advanced scientists' understanding of influenza biology and yielded important information on how to prevent ...

NIH clinical study establishes human model of influenza pathogenesis

September 13, 2013
A National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical study of healthy adult volunteers who consented to be infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus under carefully controlled conditions has provided researchers with concrete ...

Recommended for you

Newly-discovered TB blood signal provides early warning for at-risk patients

January 17, 2018
Tuberculosis can be detected in people with HIV infection via a unique blood signal before symptoms appear, according to a new study by researchers from the Crick, Imperial College London and the University of Cape Town.

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.