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Freidl G.S.,National Health Research Institute | Freidl G.S.,Erasmus Medical Center | Meijer A.,National Health Research Institute | de Bruin E.,National Health Research Institute | And 20 more authors.
Eurosurveillance | Year: 2014

Factors that trigger human infection with animal influenza virus progressing into a pandemic are poorly understood. Within a project developing an evidence-based risk assessment framework for influenza viruses in animals, we conducted a review of the literature for evidence of human infection with animal influenza viruses by diagnostic methods used. The review covering Medline, Embase, SciSearch and CabAbstracts yielded 6,955 articles, of which we retained 89; for influenza A(H5N1) and A(H7N9), the official case counts of the World Health Organization were used. An additional 30 studies were included by scanning the reference lists. Here, we present the findings for confirmed infections with virological evidence. We found reports of 1,419 naturally infected human cases, of which 648 were associated with avian influenza virus (AIV) A(H5N1), 375 with other AIV subtypes, and 396 with swine influenza virus (SIV). Human cases naturally infected with AIV spanned haemagglutinin subtypes H5, H6, H7, H9 and H10. SIV cases were associated with endemic SIV of H1 and H3 subtype descending from North American and Eurasian SIV lineages and various reassortants thereof. Direct exposure to birds or swine was the most likely source of infection for the cases with available information on exposure.

Munoz O.,viale dellUniversita 10 | De Nardi M.,viale dellUniversita 10 | De Nardi M.,SAFOSO AG | Van Der Meulen K.,Ghent University | And 22 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2015

In December 2011, the European Food Safety Authority awarded a Grant for the implementation of the FLURISK project. The main objective of FLURISK was the development of an epidemiological and virological evidence-based influenza risk assessment framework (IRAF) to assess influenza A virus strains circulating in the animal population according to their potential to cross the species barrier and cause infections in humans. With the purpose of gathering virological data to include in the IRAF, a literature review was conducted and key findings are presented here. Several adaptive traits have been identified in influenza viruses infecting domestic animals and a significance of these adaptations for the emergence of zoonotic influenza, such as shift in receptor preference and mutations in the replication proteins, has been hypothesized. Nonetheless, and despite several decades of research, a comprehensive understanding of the conditions that facilitate interspecies transmission is still lacking. This has been hampered by the intrinsic difficulties of the subject and the complexity of correlating environmental, viral and host factors. Finding the most suitable and feasible way of investigating these factors in laboratory settings represents another challenge. The majority of the studies identified through this review focus on only a subset of species, subtypes and genes, such as influenza in avian species and avian influenza viruses adapting to humans, especially in the context of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. Further research applying a holistic approach and investigating the broader influenza genetic spectrum is urgently needed in the field of genetic adaptation of influenza A viruses. © 2015 International Association for Ecology and Health

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