‘Appalling irresponsibility’: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strains of influenza virus in veterinary laboratory
Experts warn of danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the laboratory to cause a global pandemic killing millions of people.
Chinese Scientists Create New Mutant Bird-Flu Virus
In nature, some strains of the influenza virus are highly lethal while others jump easily from person to person. What public health officials fear most is a hybrid that combines the lethality of one with the transmissibility of the other, creating a deadly global pandemic.
Now a team of Chinese scientists has investigated that in their lab by creating a new hybrid virus. They combined H5N1 avian influenza, which is highly lethal but doesn’t transmit easily between people, with the highly contagious H1N1 swine flu strain responsible for infecting tens of millions of people in 2009.
The new hybrid virus passed easily between guinea pigs, which are used to study how flu infects mammals. Molecular changes in the virus may provide clues of what to look for in circulating H5N1 strains, perhaps allowing scientists to anticipate when viruses will more easily infect humans.
What is a Hybrid Virus?
2009: H1N1 Flu Virus, Vaccination, Hybrid Virus containing all DNA of Swine, Avian, and Human Flu Virus.
Apr 25, 2009
Warning, Warning, The virus is an influenza A virus, carrying the designation H1N1 and is spreading from person to person. It contains DNA from avian, swine and human viruses, including elements from European and Asian swine viruses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, or CDC