Archives of Virology

, Volume 163, Issue 4, pp 831–844 | Cite as

The emerging influenza virus threat: status and new prospects for its therapy and control

  • Binod KumarEmail author
  • Kumari Asha
  • Madhu Khanna
  • Larance Ronsard
  • Clement Adebajo Meseko
  • Melvin Sanicas


Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are zoonotic pathogens that cause yearly outbreaks with high rates of morbidity and fatality. The virus continuously acquires point mutations while circulating in several hosts, ranging from aquatic birds to mammals, including humans. The wide range of hosts provides influenza A viruses greater chances of genetic re-assortment, leading to the emergence of zoonotic strains and occasional pandemics that have a severe impact on human life. Four major influenza pandemics have been reported to date, and health authorities worldwide have shown tremendous progress in efforts to control epidemics and pandemics. Here, we primarily discuss the pathogenesis of influenza virus type A, its epidemiology, pandemic potential, current status of antiviral drugs and vaccines, and ways to effectively manage the disease during a crisis.


Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

All of the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest (financial or non-financial).

Research involving human participants and/or animals

The authors further declare that this is a review article and it did not require research involving human participants and/or animals.

Informed consent

All of the authors declare that this is a review article and did not require research involving human participants; thus, no informed consent was needed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chicago Medical SchoolRosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNorth ChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Respiratory Virology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest InstituteUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia
  3. 3.Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and HarvardCambridgeUSA
  4. 4.Virology DepartmentNational Veterinary Research InstituteVomNigeria
  5. 5.Sanofi Pasteur, Asia and JPAC RegionSingaporeSingapore

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