Influenza Virus

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Biology ・APA ・2 Sources

Influenza poses a sizeable threat to the world’s populations it is one of the most dangerous pandemic sellers. The World Health Organization reports that influenza records various million cases of which half a million human beings die annually. In the 20th century, there had been three influenza pandemic breakouts namely the Spanish flu, the Hong Kong Flu and the Asian flu. The Spanish flu was the most substantial and affected approximately 50 million individuals. In the twenty first century, the avian flu and Swine flu caused a pandemic threat. Many researchers fear that with the current globalization trends and airplane transportation poses a high risk of extremely rapid spread in case of a pandemic.

Influenza virions appear enveloped, their capsid takes the form of a sphere or a filament. Influenza viruses’ genome is linear and has segments formed by (-) ssRNA(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015). There are eight influenza genome segments, i.e., influenza type A and B and other proteins whose description are nucleoprotein, neuraminidase, hemagglutinin, polymerase complex proteins, non-structural proteins and matrix proteins. The size of an influenza genome is 13.5 kbp(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015). A lipid bilayer membrane encloses most of the influenza type A and B proteins, except three.

Influenza type A virus usually affects humans, pigs, birds, seals, horses, and other animals. The wild birds are the host of the type A influenza virus(Rendell, 2006). The naming of the subtypes of influenza type A is according to their HA and NA surface proteins. Influenza type B only affects the human beings. They usually cause epidemics, but unlike the type A virus, the type B influenza does not cause pandemics(Rendell, 2006). There is also a type C influenza virus that is a bit mild. The type c virus usually infects human beings and typically causes very mild illness. The type C virus also does not cause epidemics or pandemics.

The article The Structure of Influenza Viruses, Connected with influenza life cycle starts by highlighting the pandemics in the history associated with the influenza virus. The report also outlines the challenges that we face today in terms pandemic preparedness concerning the influenza virus. It explains that containing a pandemic at this century is very tough considering the many air travels and the globalization trends. The authors also define the structure of an influenza virus. First, it describes the history of encoding the virus which occurred in 1976(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015). The authors even go ahead to characterize the ten proteins in the Influenza virus. The viral polymerase protein assembles all the segments of the influenza genome into complexes which have RNA, nucleoprotein and polymerase complex. The article also describes the structure of hemagglutinin (HA) as a transmembrane glycoprotein(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015).

The article also describes the structure of the nucleoprotein (NP). They associate the protein to a binding protein that forms NP-RNA complex which acts as a template for replication and transcription(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015). Neuraminidase is also one of the ten proteins of influenza which the authors explain its structure. It is the one that facilitates the release of other newly formed virions out of the host’s cells. The matrix protein forms a structural membrane which acts as a link between the core and the viral envelope. The nonstructural proteins of the influenza virus are the ones that are responsible for its replication(Krejcova, Michalek, Hynek, Vojtech, & Kizek, 2015). The authors also discuss the process of influenza’s replication and its life cycle. The influenza virus replication usually occurs in the respiratory tract of a human being. Consequently, the release usually occurs as tiny aerosols in the air through coughing, talking, and sneezing. The incubation period for an influenza virus is typically one to four days.

The article Influenza Virus Types, Subtypes, and Strains, discusses that there are three types of influenza virus that are type A, type B, and type C. Contrary to the previous document analyzed only type A and B. The report also focusses on the virus ability to cause an epidemic or a pandemic but does not put much emphasis on the structure of the virus. Similar to the first document on the structure of the influenza virus, this article describes the general details and naming of the disease.The author also points out the hosts of the virus and the potential victims who are likely to get infected. The article goes further to describe the strain of the influenza virus through the drift and shift processes. Rendell also gives a comparison between the human influenza viruses and the avian influenza viruses; he also provides a contrast of the low pathogenic and highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. The author discusses the antigenic drift of the infection which occurs slowly over a period while the antigenic shift occurs abruptly and causes a significant change in the influenza viruses.

While both articles talk about the influenza virus, The Structure of Influenza Viruses, Connected with influenza life cycle, discusses the in-depth protein composition of the virus examining its size and weight. The Influenza Virus Types, Subtypes and Strains focus on the types, their ability to cause a pandemic or epidemic and the straining process of the virus.


Krejcova, L., Michalek, P., Hynek, D., Vojtech, A., & Kizek, R. (2015). Structure of Influenza Viruses, Connected with Influenza Life Cycle. Journal of Metallomics and Nanotechnologies, 13 - 19. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from - Primary source

Rendell, E. G. (2006). Influenza Virus Types, Subtypes and Strains.Retrieved December 12, 2017, from - Secondary source


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