The seasonal flu virus may be a direct descendant of the “Spanish flu” that led to the 1918 global pandemic and killed nearly 100 million people, according to the study.
- Human seasonal flu virus “may have originated from the 1918 Spanish flu strain”
- Based on an analysis of samples collected in Europe during the 1918 pandemic
- Researchers in Berlin provide more information on the biology of the H1N1 flu virus
- Mutations in viruses have been identified that could help it adapt better to human owners
New research suggests that the seasonal human flu virus may have originated from the 1918 Spanish flu.
The research is based on an analysis of samples collected in Europe during the 1918 pandemic, the most dangerous respiratory pandemic of the 20th century, which killed between 50 and 100 million people.
Researchers have identified mutations in the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, that could help it adapt better to humans.
The human seasonal flu virus may have originated from the 1918 Spanish flu, new research
Researchers have identified mutations in the H1N1 virus (or swine flu) that could help it adapt better to humans.
HOW THE SPANISH PRIDE COME INTO BEING
According to experts, the Spanish flu virus appeared shortly before 1918, when the human H1 virus, which had been prevalent in the human population since about 1900, developed after receiving genetic material from the bird flu virus.
Human influenza A virus typically causes high mortality in infants and the elderly, but the pandemic virus has been the leading cause of death in people between the ages of 20 and 40, primarily from secondary bacterial infections, especially pneumonia.
According to experts, many young people born between 1880 and 1900 were exposed to the H3N8 virus, which circulates in the population as a child, and the proteins on its surface are very different from the H1N1 virus.
However, most people born earlier or later than 1880-1900 would have better protection because they would be exposed to a variant virus more similar to the 1918 virus.
An international team from the Robert Koch Institute, the University of Leuven, Sharit Berlin and many others provided more information on the biology of H1N1, as well as evidence of its spread across continents.
Sebastian Calvinak-Spencer and his colleagues analyzed 13 lung samples from various individuals stored in the historical archives of museums in Germany and Austria, collected between 1901 and 1931.
It includes six samples collected in 1918 and 1919.
Researchers believe that genetic differences between samples are consistent with a combination of local transmission and long-distance events.
They compared the genomes before and after the peak of the pandemic, indicating variations in a specific gene associated with resistance to antiviral reactions, which could allow the virus to adapt in humans.
The authors also modeled the molecular clock, which allows them to calculate evolutionary time, and suggest that all genomic segments of seasonal H1N1 influenza may have originated directly from the first pandemic strain in 1918.
Researchers say this contradicts other hypotheses about how the seasonal flu came to be.
Dr. Calvinak-Spencer said: “Our results, in short, show that there was genomic variation during that pandemic.
“And when we interpret it, we often find a clear signal for a continental spread.
The research is based on an analysis of samples (pictured) collected in Europe during the 1918 pandemic, the most dangerous respiratory pandemic of the 20th century, which killed between 50 and 100 million people.
The virus spread around the world in 1918 when nurses were caring for victims of the Spanish flu in Massachusetts.
In October 1918, members of the Red Cross Motor Corps wore masks as they carried a patient on a stretcher to an ambulance in Missouri.
“We also show that there is no evidence for seed exchange between waves – we are seeing today with interchangeable Sars-CoV-2 variants.
“And with the sequences and new statistical models, what we’ve discovered is that the next seasonal flu virus that spread after the pandemic may have completely evolved directly from the pandemic virus.”
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
WHAT WAS THE SPANISH PRIDE?
The 1918 flu pandemic was the first of two to cause extraordinary deaths and contain the H1N1 flu virus.
It has infected more than a third of the world’s 500 million people worldwide, including those in the remote Pacific Islands and the Arctic.
It has killed about three to five percent of the world’s population, making it one of the most dangerous natural disasters in human history.
Spanish flu has killed about three to five percent of the world’s population, making it one of the worst natural disasters in human history. This photo shows soldiers in Fort Riley, Kansas, who are infected with the virus
In just a few months, it killed three times as many people as World War I and did it faster than any other disease recorded in history.
Most influenza epidemics kill a proportion of juveniles, the elderly, or debilitated patients. On the contrary, the pandemic of 1918 killed mostly healthy young people.
To maintain morale, wartime censors reduced the number of reports of illness and death in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States. Newspapers, however, were free to report the effects of the epidemic in Spain.
This led to the misconception that Spain had been hit particularly hard, leading to the pandemic’s nickname, the Spanish flu.
Researchers say the massive movement of troops and troops in the vicinity of World War I accelerated the pandemic and possibly increased the number of infectious mutations.
The true global rate of death from pandemics is unknown, but about 10 to 20 percent of those infected die. It kills between 50 and 100 million people.