Influenza

H5N1 Genetic Changes Inventory

Influenza knowledge base for surveillance and preparedness

29 June 2012

Since their re-emergence in 2003, highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses continue to pose a serious threat to public health.

In view of the constant evolving nature of influenza viruses, in particular, the expanding host range, geographic spread, and interspecies transmission of heterogeneous A(H5N1) viruses, a key component of efficient response to public health emergencies associated with these viruses is strengthened surveillance and early detection of the emergence of genetic changes of potential public health significance.

In this global endeavour, the WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, United States of America, in collaboration with international partners, has developed an inventory of amino acid mutations in A(H5N1) viruses:

The inventory supports molecular approaches to surveillance and should be used to identify genetic mutations that determine viral phenotypic characteristics of importance. It is intended as a tool to inform the influenza knowledge base for surveillance and public health preparedness.

The inventory will be maintained and updated periodically by the WHO CC of GISRS at CDC Atlanta.

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