H7N9 Virus Has Potential for Both Virulence and Transmissibility in Humans

Attachment of H7N9 virus (red) to the epithelium (blue) of human nasal cavity.

A new study by ANTIGONE investigators has found that a novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza A virus, which has recently emerged in humans, attaches moderately or abundantly to the epithelium of both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. This pattern has not been observed before for avian influenza A viruses. The report, published in the October issue of The American Journal of Pathology, suggests that the emerging H7N9 virus has the potential to cause a pandemic, since it may transmit efficiently in humans and cause severe pneumonia. For the complete press release follow this link.