Science research news Return to previous page
Article Released Wed-17th-January-2007 20:36 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 1918 flu virus lethal to primates

The influenza virus that killed about 50 million people worldwide around 90 years ago is also lethal in nonhuman primates, a study in this week's Nature reports. The results confirm that it was the virulence, associated with the virus itself, that made it so efficient in claiming young adult lives.

WWW.NATURE.COM/NATURE

This press release is copyright Nature.

VOL.445 NO.7125 DATED 18 JANUARY 2007

Editorial contacts: While the best contacts for stories will always be the authors themselves, in some cases the Nature editor who handled the paper will be available for comment if an author is unobtainable. Editors are contactable via Ruth Francis on +44 20 7843 4562. Feel free to get in touch with Nature's press contacts in London, Washington and Tokyo (as listed at the end of this release) with any general editorial inquiry.

Warning: This document, and the Nature papers to which it refers, may contain information that is price sensitive (as legally defined, for example, in the UK Criminal Justice Act 1993 Part V) with respect to publicly quoted companies. Anyone dealing in securities using information contained in this document or in advanced copies of Nature’s content may be guilty of insider trading under the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Nature journals press site is at <http://press.nature.com>

HYPE: We take great care not to hype the papers mentioned on our press releases, but are sometimes accused of doing so. If you ever consider that a story has been hyped, please do not hesitate to contact us at press@nature.com <mailto:press@nature.com>, citing the specific example.

PLEASE CITE NATURE AND OUR WEBSITE www.nature.com/nature AS THE SOURCE OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS. IF PUBLISHING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A HYPERLINK TO http://www.nature.com/nature

Immunology: 1918 flu virus lethal to primates


The influenza virus that killed about 50 million people worldwide around 90 years ago is also lethal in nonhuman primates, a study in this week's Nature reports. The results confirm that it was the virulence, associated with the virus itself, that made it so efficient in claiming young adult lives.

The 1918 influenza virus replicates rapidly in macaques, causing respiratory problems, haemorrhage and death, report Yoshihiro Kawaoka and colleagues. It does this, they say, by sending the host's immune system into overdrive.

Circulating strains of the bird flu virus H5N1 also appear to affect innate immune responses and cause respiratory problems. So it seems that interventions that protect host immunity might help curb the severity of influenza infections.

CONTACT

Yoshihiro Kawaoka (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA)
Tel: +1 608 265 4925; E-mail: kawaokay@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu <mailto:kawaokay@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu>

A telephone briefing related to the paper will take place UNDER STRICT EMBARGO on:
Tuesday 16 January at 1500 London time (GMT) / 1000 US Eastern time

For reporters calling from the United Kingdom: 020 3003 2666
For reporters calling from outside the United Kingdom: +44 20 3003 2666
Conference password: Nature Press Briefing

Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Michael Katze and Darwyn Kobasa will speak about their research followed by questions from media.

For more information please contact: Ruth Francis, Nature London

Tel: +44 207 843 4562; E-mail: r.francis@nature.com <mailto:r.francis@nature.com>

PRESS CONTACTS…

For North America and Canada

Katie McGoldrick, Nature Washington

Tel: +1 202 737 2355; E-mail: k.mcgoldrick@naturedc.com <mailto:k.mcgoldrick@naturedc.com>

For Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan

Mika Nakano, Nature Tokyo

Tel: +81 3 3267 8751; E-mail: m.nakano@natureasia.com <mailto:m.nakano@natureasia.com>

For the UK/Europe/other countries not listed above

Helen Jamison, Nature London

Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail h.jamison@nature.com <mailto:h.jamison@nature.com>

About Nature Publishing Group

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd, dedicated to serving the academic, professional scientific and medical communities. NPG's flagship title, Nature, was first published in 1869. Other publications include Nature research journals, Nature Reviews, Nature Clinical Practice and a range of prestigious academic journals including society-owned publications. NPG also provides news content through news@nature.com and scientific career information through Naturejobs.

NPG is a global company with headquarters in London and offices in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Tokyo, Paris, Munich, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Delhi, Mexico City and Basingstoke. For more information, please go to <www.nature.com>

Associated links

Journal information

NATURE

Keywords associated to this article: influenza
Create Account...