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中国发现禽流感致病基因
[ 2006-11-07 09:23 ]

据悉,中国研究人员已识别出一H5N1型禽流感致病基因,这项研究成果被发表在美国出版的《病毒学杂志》11月号刊上。研究人员分析了1996年从广东省的受感染鹅身上抽取的两种关系密切的H5N1病毒,致力于研究该病毒的基因。研究人员说:“现在我们知道了高致病性NS1在致病方面的特别角色,就可以考虑研制疫苗了。”

 

 

Chickens are seen at a farm in Baokang county of Xiangfan, in central China's Hubei province, October 31, 2006. Chinese scientists have identified a gene in the H5N1 bird flu virus which they say is responsible for its virulence in poultry, opening the way for new vaccines. [Reuters] 

Chinese scientists have identified a gene in the H5N1 bird flu virus which they say is responsible for its virulence in poultry, opening the way for new vaccines.

There are many different strains of H5N1, some of which kill more than half the people they infect, while others do little or no harm.

"We can now understand how this virus becomes lethal and the molecular basis for its pathogenicity," Bu Zhigao at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute told Reuters.

The Chinese researchers zeroed in on the virulent gene after analyzing two closely related strains of the H5N1 obtained from infected geese in southern Guangdong province in 1996 -- one highly pathogenic in chickens and the other harmless.

Differences between the two strains were located in four genes, they found.

The scientists designed four genetically modified viruses each containing one of the four genes in question and tested them on laboratory chickens.

Only chickens infected with the modified virus containing the highly pathogenic gene died. The other chickens had no signs of disease, the scientists wrote in the November issue of the Journal of Virology.

"Now that we know the special role of the (highly pathogenic) NS1 gene, we can think about developing a vaccine," Bu said, adding that a vaccine which neutralizes the gene known as NS1 could be quickly designed.

"Technically, that can happen very soon, but it is the tests and other procedures that will take a long time."

The scientists are from the Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Influenza Laboratory, the National Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute.

H5N1 remains largely a disease in birds although it has killed over 150 people, mostly in Asia, since 2003. Experts fear that it can spark a pandemic and kill millions of people if it begins to transmit efficiently among humans.

(China Daily)

Vocabulary:
 

virulence: 毒性

lethal: 致命的

zero in on: 瞄准、对准、注意力集中于

highly pathogenic gene: 高致病基因

(英语点津陈蓓编辑)

 
 
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