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Science. 1997 Mar 21;275(5307):1793-6.

Initial genetic characterization of the 1918 "Spanish" influenza virus.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Pathology, Department of Cellular Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC 20306-6000, USA. taubenbe@email.afip.osd.mil

Abstract

The "Spanish" influenza pandemic killed at least 20 million people in 1918-1919, making it the worst infectious pandemic in history. Understanding the origins of the 1918 virus and the basis for its exceptional virulence may aid in the prediction of future influenza pandemics. RNA from a victim of the 1918 pandemic was isolated from a formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, lung tissue sample. Nine fragments of viral RNA were sequenced from the coding regions of hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, nucleoprotein, matrix protein 1, and matrix protein 2. The sequences are consistent with a novel H1N1 influenza A virus that belongs to the subgroup of strains that infect humans and swine, not the avian subgroup.

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PMID:
9065404
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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