(CIDRAP News) – A national biosecurity board that monitors "dual use" research is apparently worried about an as-yet-published study in which a mutant form of H5N1 avian influenza virus was found to be easily transmissible in ferrets, which are considered good models for flu in humans.
(CIDRAP News) In the influenza literature, it's a given that ferrets are the best animal model for influenza in humans. They show similar clinical signs of disease, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing, and flu viruses that spread among humans usually spread in ferrets as well.
(CIDRAP News) – Eighteen virologists have sent a letter to the US government's dual-use research advisory board, asking members to reconsider their recommendation that two research groups redact key details about their studies on mutated H5N1 viruses.
(CIDRAP News) – More experts weighed in recently on various aspects of yet-unpublished H5N1 avian influenza transmissibility studies that have raised concerns about the risk of an intentional or accidental release of the mutant pathogens, as well as worries about scientific censorship.
(CIDRAP News) – Breaking a prolonged silence, the author of one of two controversial studies dealing with mutant H5N1 viruses said today that the virus his team created went airborne to spread among ferrets, but it didn't kill them.
(CIDRAP News) – The core of a US biosecurity advisory board's concern about two controversial, as-yet-unpublished studies on H5N1 viruses is that the studies have shown how to remove the apparent natural barrier that keeps the viruses from spreading efficiently in mammals, members of the board said in statements published today.