Presentation on theme: "Influenza A – Whats Hot TARRANT Symposium 2012 Kevin Fonseca Clinical Virologist ProvLab"— Presentation transcript:
Influenza A – Whats Hot TARRANT Symposium 2012 Kevin Fonseca Clinical Virologist ProvLab
Theme Recent Controversies in Influenza Research Animal Models Lively Discussion
Holy Grail of Influenzaologists The Perfect Vaccine Able to predict Pandemics to the day/hour Able to clinically diagnose with 100% certainty The Perfect Influenza test in 10 secs The Perfect Model
Influenza A H5N1 Disease Acquired from infected poultry Person-to-person transmission rare Aggressive & severe disease in humans Mortality at least 60% Affects healthy young individuals Begins as a respiratory disease, progressing to a viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure Treatment may not prevent death ?Potential mortality in a pandemic
Controversy Balance the right to research with perceived ethical obligations Create a potential bio-weapon Provide data to terrorist organisations Risks of pathogen escape (small-pox, anthrax, influenza) Safety of the public What about military research When is research just to dangerous to conduct Does understanding the biology of infection in animal models really help ?
Mortality = 58%
Belser et al Disease Models & Mechanisms 2011
Pandemic vs Seasonal H1N1 (Pre-pandemic) VirusFerretsHumans Pandemic Mild Severe Fatal 30% sneezed No deaths Found in GI (70%) Generally mild Not associated with GI symptoms Lots of person-to-person transmission Spectrum of illness with some fatalities Some countries reported higher incidences or morbidity & mortality 50% sneezed 50% died Found in GI (20%) [& contacts] 10% sneezed No deaths Found in GI (10%) Seasonal100% sneezed No deaths No GI infection Generally mild No GI symptoms Fatalities occurred Q – How accurate was the ferret model in predicting human disease ?
Reality ? Ferret Model A(H3N2)v is easily transmissible Causes mild illness Human Cell Model A(H3N2)v > H3N2 Reaches a higher titre Observed Handful of cases (12) Mainly in young children Mild illness Few hospitalizations Low level of transmission thus far ? Pandemic potential? Not covered by the vaccine