Reference and surveillance studies of current human and animal influenza viruses and studies of immunity View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

1976-2015

FUNDING AMOUNT

9192836 GBP

ABSTRACT

The outstanding feature of influenza viruses is their ability to evade host immunity and to cause recurrent annual epidemics of disease, and at infrequent intervals to cause major world-wide pandemics due to the introduction of antigenically novel viruses into an immunologically naive human population. To combat these threats the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network monitors the viruses causing outbreaks of influenza throughout the year in different parts of the globe. The principal objectives are 1) the early detection of novel subtypes of influenza A with the potential to cause pandemics, such as the H5N1 viruses isolated in Hong Kong in 1997, and many other countries during 2004-2007, and H9N2 subtype viruses in 1999, respectively, and 2) the identification of antigenic changes among currently circulating influenza A and B viruses, to ensure that influenza vaccines reflect the immunological characteristics of the prevalent viruses. As one of four International WHO Influenza Centres we collaborate in obtaining up to date information on current influenza viruses and advise WHO on the most appropriate vaccine composition. Technical Summary The work concerns viruses causing epidemics, and potentially pandemics, of human disease and the formulation of influenza vaccines, under the auspices of the WHO. Animal and avian influenza viruses are important as potential human pathogens. The objectives are: 1. To monitor and characterise changes in influenza viruses causing epidemics and detect the appearance of novel virus subtypes in both human and animal populations. 2. To assess the serological significance of changes in antigenicity in terms of recommendations for human influenza vaccine composition made by the WHO. To contribute to decisions on the composition of equine influenza vaccines. 3. To relate changes in amino acid sequences of virus components to alterations in the antigenic, biochemical and biological properties of natural virus isolates. Characterisation of virus isolates includes: 1. Antigenic comparisons of the haemagglutinin and neuraminidase components using both polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. 2. Sequence analyses of virus genes, especially the variable regions of the haemagglutinin. PCR detection of infection in the absence of virus isolation. 3. Studies of changes in biochemical properties such as receptor binding specificity and sensitivity/resistance to anti-influenza drugs. The information obtained on the characteristics of current virus isolates has been used, together with that obtained by the other WHO Influenza Centres, to recommend changes in the components of the trivalent influenza vaccines. Studies of viruses from Hong Kong have led to the detection and characterisation of the novel subtypes, avian H5N1 (1997), avian H9N2 (1999) and swine H3N2 (1999), responsible for causing sporadic human infections. Collaborative studies on antigenic and genetic comparisons of H5N1 viruses, isolated during 2004-2007, have formed the basis of WHO recommendations of pre-pandemic candidate vaccine straines, and have provided information on possible adaptive changes in patients which might contribute to increased transmissibility. Comparisons of the antigenic and genetic characteristics of swine influenza viruses have contributed to our understanding of the diversity and evolution of influenza viruses in pigs in various countries around the world, which may pose a threat to public health. A collaborative project (with Dr. K. Shortridge and Dr. R. Webster) to study the epidemiology and interspecies transmission of avian influenza viruses in Hong Kong was supported by the Wellcome Trust. More... »

URL

http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk/project/50A6C64C-C64B-48BA-A90C-69F2F0BE87A6

Related SciGraph Publications

  • 2017-03. Variability in H9N2 haemagglutinin receptor-binding preference and the pH of fusion in EMERGING MICROBES & INFECTIONS
  • 2017-02. Viruses: Model to accelerate epidemic responses in NATURE
  • 2016-07. Host genetics determine susceptibility to avian influenza infection and transmission dynamics in SCIENTIFIC REPORTS
  • 2016-05-23. Selection of antigenically advanced variants of seasonal influenza viruses in NATURE MICROBIOLOGY
  • 2015-07. Global circulation patterns of seasonal influenza viruses vary with antigenic drift in NATURE
  • 2014-12. An efficient genome sequencing method for equine influenza [H3N8] virus reveals a new polymorphism in the PA-X protein in VIROLOGY JOURNAL
  • 2014-07. Receptor binding by H10 influenza viruses in NATURE
  • 2014. Receptor Binding Properties of the Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin as a Determinant of Host Range in INFLUENZA PATHOGENESIS AND CONTROL - VOLUME I
  • 2013-07. Receptor binding by an H7N9 influenza virus from humans in NATURE
  • 2013-05. Receptor binding by a ferret-transmissible H5 avian influenza virus in NATURE
  • 2010-12. Circulation of human influenza viruses and emergence of Oseltamivir-resistant A(H1N1) viruses in Cameroon, Central Africa in BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES
  • 2009-10. Using Non-Homogeneous Models of Nucleotide Substitution to Identify Host Shift Events: Application to the Origin of the 1918 ‘Spanish’ Influenza Pandemic Virus in JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION
  • 2009-09. Receptor-binding specificity of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus determined by carbohydrate microarray in NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • 2008-06. Crystal structures of oseltamivir-resistant influenza virus neuraminidase mutants in NATURE
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