WELCOME to FLUINNATE

Influenza A viruses are still a major public health problem. They cause a highly contagious respiratory disease in humans and are responsible for periodic epidemics or pandemics, with high mortality rates. The most devastating pandemic occurred in 1918 with millions of deaths worldwide. The avian H5N1 strains currently circulating in birds across Asia and Europe have a high pathogenic potential for humans and are feared to cause the next pandemic if they acquire sufficient human-to-human transmissibility. The molecular mechanisms which determine increased virus virulence in humans are presently not well understood. Influenza viruses enter the human respiratory tract and must replicate in the face of multiple innate immune defence mechanisms to establish infection in vivo. Successful viruses must adapt to intrinsic cellular restriction factors and evolve the capacity of counteracting the antiviral interferon response.
FLUINNATE combines the expertise of leading laboratories in the field. The consortium will identify and characterize the essential viral and host factors that determine the outcome of infection. The emphasis is on viralĀ  replication fitness, host adaptation processes and host defense mechanisms. Human, avian and porcine influenza A viruses will be studied in animal models and in cell culture systems, such as human airway epithelium. FLUINNATE will provide new information which is important for better understanding emerging influenza viruses and for generating efficient control measures against these devastating pathogens.


Otto Haller
Coordinator FLUINNATE

 

last update 01/29/2010
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