Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 63–81

The Influenza Pandemic of 2009

Lessons and Implications
  • Paul Shapshak
  • Francesco Chiappelli
  • Charurut Somboonwit
  • John Sinnott
Current Opinion

DOI: 10.1007/BF03256397

Cite this article as:
Shapshak, P., Chiappelli, F., Somboonwit, C. et al. Mol Diag Ther (2011) 15: 63. doi:10.1007/BF03256397

Abstract

Influenza is a moving target, which evolves in unexpected directions and is recurrent annually. The 2009 influenza A/H1N1 pandemic virus was unlike the 2009 seasonal virus strains and originated in pigs prior to infecting humans. Three strains of viruses gave rise to the pandemic virus by antigenic shift, reassortment, and recombination, which occurred in pigs as ‘mixing vessels’. The three strains of viruses had originally been derived from birds, pigs, and humans. The influenza hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) external proteins are used to categorize and group influenza viruses. The internal proteins (PB1, PB1-F2, PB2, PA, NP, M, and NS) are involved in the pathogenesis of influenza infection. A major difference between the 1918 and 2009 pandemic viruses is the lack of the pathogenic protein PB1-F2 in the 2009 pandemic strains, which was present in the more virulent 1918 pandemic strains. We provide an overview of influenza infection since 1847 and the advent of influenza vaccination since 1944. Vaccines and chemotherapy help reduce the spread of influenza, reduce morbidity and mortality, and are utilized by the global rapid-response organizations associated with the WHO. Immediate identification of impending epidemic and pandemic strains, as well as sustained vigilance and collaboration, demonstrate continued success in combating influenza.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 123 KB.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Shapshak
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesco Chiappelli
    • 3
  • Charurut Somboonwit
    • 1
    • 4
  • John Sinnott
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal MedicineTampa General Hospital, College of Medicine, University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineCollege of Medicine, University of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Oral Biology and MedicineUCLA School of DentistryLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Clinical Research Unit, Hillsborough Health DepartmentTampaUSA
  5. 5.Division of Infectious DiseaseUniversity of South Florida Health, Tampa General HospitalTampaUSA