Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Human antibody reveals hidden vulnerability in influenza virus

The ever-changing "head" of an influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health. ...

Medical research

New approach to tackle Ebola and other deadly infections

Medical Research Council scientists have isolated therapeutic antibodies from healthy volunteers exposed to the Ebola vaccine but not Ebola virus itself, suggesting that protective therapies could be developed from people ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains

A recent study with Kansas State University researchers details vaccine development for two new strains of avian influenza that can be transmitted from poultry to humans. The strains have led to the culling of millions of ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bird flu spreads in US, but risk to people 'low'

Bird flu is spreading among wild birds, chickens and turkeys across much of the United States but health authorities said Wednesday there is a low risk of people getting sick.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New compound protects 100 percent of ferrets, mice, from H5N1

Since 2003, the H5N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate ...

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Influenza A virus subtype H5N1

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as "bird flu," A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species. A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu". It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia. It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread. Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.

According to the FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination. Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007. The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".

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