JAN 25, 2017 06:18 PM PST

All About Flu Viruses

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Dr. James McSharry, Professor Emeritus at Albany Medical College, gives an overview of influenza viruses in this short lecture from the American Society for Microbiology. Flu viruses can affect a wide variety of animals, and at the start of the talk you can get a look at how flu viruses were detected in patterns that matched the routes of bird migrations.

The structure of flu viruses is also presented, and you can hear an explanation of how viruses strains are named - why they get associated letters and numbers (the letter is based on the properties of the viral antigens). McSharry talks about human flu viruses as well, especially starting at the sixth minute.

In the last part of the presentation, after a brief overview of viral replication, myriad therapeutics for flu viruses are discussed. While we have experimental compounds and flu vaccines, we still have not conquered the flu; McSharry takes the time to mention some problems in flu vaccines, which must be redeveloped each year. There could be some progress in that area; researchers are striving to develop a vaccine targeting a region of the flu virus common to all influenza viruses.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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