Controversial Bird Flu Study Finally Published
A controversial bird flu study has been published. The Canadian Press/Hanout/CDC
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metronews.ca - by Helen Branswell - June 21, 2012
A controversial bird flu study, blocked from full publication for months because of biosecurity concerns, found that as few as five mutations might be enough to give H5N1 viruses the power to infect people and spread among them.
And new research, which played a role in reversing the initial ban on full publication of the study, says viruses with two of those changes are already cropping up regularly in nature. That means that if bird flu viruses were able to pick up three specific additional mutations, they might be able to infect human respiratory tracts and trigger a pandemic.
Airborne Transmission of Influenza A/H5N1 Virus Between Ferrets
The Potential for Respiratory Droplet–Transmissible A/H5N1 Influenza Virus to Evolve in a Mammalian Host
Experimental adaptation of an influenza H5 HA confers respiratory droplet transmission to a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus in ferrets
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