Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Introduction to Swine Flu
The origin. It is well known that most higher organisms carry the genomes of certain viruses that normally lie dormant in a quiescent state until they become activated by different factors and causing a number of problems. However in most cases, after infecting their hosts, viruses are cleared by an immunological response mounted by the host or eventually they kill their host this way putting an end to their replication cycle. Yet in either case, the newly produced virus can infect other hosts and start the reproductive cycle once more.
Swine Flu Transmission and Vaccine
Transmission. At this point, the infected human can get sick and transmit the virus via aerosolized micro drops of saliva produced during coughing, and he is also capable of passing the virus by direct contact with non-infected people. About vaccines against it. Currently there are not vaccines against the new swine flu virus strain and producing a vaccine can take 6-9 months. Vaccines against the influenza virus are strain specific, however because the virus has a high rate of mutations in those regions responsible for initiating the infection process there is a need to develop new vaccines every year.
This drug manufactured by Roche appears to be effective against the swine flu; influenza virus initiates the infection process by latching to sialoglycoproteins present of the cell surface via their neuraminidase. Inhibition of the viral neuraminidase interferes with the infection process contributing to reduce symptoms and complications.
Influenza Peptide Virus
The influenza virus is an enveloped RNA virus and its genome is split between 7 to 8 RNA fragments, each encoding for one to two genes. This large number of RNA fragments allows their mixing or reassorment if more than one virus strain is infecting a cell, to yield new viral strains containing genetic information from different viral strains.
Immunity and Viral Peptide
Although the protective immunity stimulated by the vaccines is humoral and mediated by neutralizing antibodies there is significant body of evidence pointing to the crucial role of T cell immunity. In effect, the increased susceptibility of young children and older people correlates well with a low Th1 immunity.
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