Common flu may have originated from a FISH 600 million years ago: Virus found in sturgeon resembles ancestor of all known strains of human-infecting flu
Scientists reveal evidence of the origin of the flu – a fish that lived 600 million years ago.
A team from the University of Sydney scoured a genetic database of fish for a flu-related virus and discovered one in the gut of a Siberian sturgeon.
By comparing the genetic sequence of the virus in sturgeon with that of all known flu viruses, the team found that it closely matches the predicted sequence of the ancestor of these viruses.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, states that the family of flu viruses that infect humans “first emerged in aquatic animals.”
The team notes that the virus in the sturgeon is not the same shape as the original, it is “as you would expect the true ancestral shape to have looked,” lead author Mary Petron told me. New scientist.
A new study claims that the flu originated with a fish 600 million years ago. This is because the team found a flu-related virus in the gut of a Siberian sturgeon
Petrone hypothesized that the marine flu started as a result of previous work in 2018 showing that hagish may have it.
Hagfish are eel-shaped, slime-producing marine animals.
Using the hagfish flu-like virus, Petron and her team found that the virus in sturgeons is 25 percent similar in genetic similarity.
“Understanding the evolution of the flu virus is very important because it can provide new insights into its ability to jump between hosts, and help detect the next virus with pandemic potential,” Patron told New Scientist.
The study comes as the world tracks the spread of a bird flu in Cambodia.
The species in its current form is unlikely to cause a major outbreak. Its widespread transmission would require a mutation that allows it to bind to a receptor found on cells in the nose.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, states that the family of flu viruses that infect humans “first emerged in aquatic animals”
However, it was revealed on Wednesday that the virus, H5N1, has evolved to infect humans.
Last week, an 11-year-old girl from Prey Veng province became the first victim of H5N1 in 2023.
Her father has also tested positive for the virus, but has not developed any symptoms.
Dr. Erik Karlsson, who led the team at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia that decoded the genetic sequence of the girl virus, warned that it was different from that of birds.
He told sky news: ‘There are some indications that this virus passed through a human being.
“Every time these viruses invade a new host, they go through certain changes that allow them to replicate a little better or possibly bind a little better to the cells in our airways.”
But he added that the virus had yet to fully adapt to humans, saying it was essentially “still an avian virus.”