Scientists deliberately create 127 hybrid viruses from H1N1, then warn they are dangerous
Ethan A. Huff,
March 9, 2011
Chinese researchers recently warned the world in a study that the H1N1 virus is capable of combining with various other viruses to create “novel pandemic strains.” Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the paper states that with the proper mixing host in place, viruses can swap genes and mutate into new strains — and researchers discovered this by deliberately creating 127 of them in a laboratory.
After concocting these 127 hybrid viruses, researchers found that eight of them were more harmful than their parent viruses when tested in mice, according to a Reuters report. And researchers warn that these deadly mutant strains may one day be a serious threat to public health because they cause pneumonia, edema, and hemorrhaging.
“The main message is that the H1N1 can combine in certain ways with the H9N2 to create reassortants and some of the viruses had an increased pathogenicity comparing with the parent viruses in mice,” wrote Jinhua Liu, lead author of the study from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, in an email to Reuters.