A 2009 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, which had its origin in swine, caused severe illness and mortality in humans. Inflammatory responses may be responsible for pathogenesis caused by infection with influenza viruses. To better understand the pathogenic mechanism, clinical signs and inflammatory responses in ferrets infected with the pandemic H1N1 were compared with those caused by seasonal H1N1 influenza virus. Ferrets infected with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus displayed higher body temperatures, greater reduction in body weight, and higher viral titers in the tracheae and lungs. Levels of inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, interferon-alpha, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, were higher in the lungs of ferrets infected with the 2009 pandemic H1N1. The data support the idea that increased pathogenesis caused by the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus may have been partially mediated by a higher induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs of affected humans or animals.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2011
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