Mutation of the influenza A virus

Mutation of the influenza A virus

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First identified in Norway, mutations of the influenza A virus have been recognized in France. Vincent Enouf, Deputy Head of the National Reference Center for Influenza North Region at the Pasteur Institute tells us more. (News of 04/12/09)

How did you discover the mutation of the H1N1 virus?

  • Influenza viruses are variable viruses, so we expected mutations, especially since they had already been identified in Norway at the end of November. Specifically, the genetic code of one of the genes of the H1N1 virus has mutated. This new virus can affect the upper parts (larynx, nose) and lower parts (lower lungs) of the respiratory system. This discovery is associated with another mutation causing Tamiflu resistance. However, nothing serves to panic. These mutations have so far been discovered only in people in intensive care or who have unfortunately died. For now, these viruses do not circulate in the population. Our role today is to observe whether a symptomology emerges and to make this mutation coincide with particular cases.

Will the vaccine remain effective if the influenza A virus mutates?

  • Yes, because it has a very wide spectrum of action. Even if the influenza A virus mutated, this would not prevent its effectiveness. The population is still hesitant, but you should know that you can get vaccinated without risk. Adjuvants are scary yet they have been used for several years in other vaccine compositions. They have been tested safely.

A vaccine without adjuvant for 3-9 years?

Roselyne Bachelot, Minister of Health and Sports, announced last week that vaccines without adjuvants will now be offered, to the extent possible and deliveries, to children from 2 to 9 years. Initially reserved for pregnant women and children aged 6 to 23 months, this vaccine has the advantage of limiting the risk of small local pain at the injection site, felt by some children with the adjuvanted vaccine and is less invasive. organization.

Interviewed by Stéphanie Letellier

Influenza A: all our news.