Host Range & Infection of Laboratory Animals
Study of the 1918 H1N1 virus in several experimental systems has confirmed that it does indeed have unique virulence properties that explain its devastating impact on the human population. The virus also displayed an unusual ability to kill chicken embryos, a characteristic typical of avian influenza viruses and not seen in a control human influenza virus. High virulence in these systems correlated with enhanced replication of the 1918 virus in primary human bronchoepithelial cells, providing evidence that the 1918 virus has unique capabilities in a human system. In a separate study, the 1918 virus caused severe and fatal disease in experimentally inoculated ferrets, characterized by lethargy, anorexia, rhinorrhea, sneezing, severe weight loss and high fever. The 1918 virus also displayed the unusual capacity to cause a lethal disease, characterized by potent proinflammatory responses, in nonhuman primates.
The A(H1N1)pdm09 strain replicates efficiently in nonhuman primates, causing more severe pathological lesions in the lungs of infected mice, ferrets and nonhuman primates than the seasonal human H1N1 virus, and transmits among ferrets.
Future Virology. 2013;8(4):335-342. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.