The last set of barriers—human-to-human transmission barriers—nevertheless represents an outstanding challenge for both influenza selleck products virus, and human understanding. On the one
hand, they appear to be the greatest obstacles against establishment of zoonotic influenza viruses in the human population. On the other hand, their crossing is at the basis of the most devastating consequences of influenza virus cross-species transmission. Despite this, they remain the least understood of influenza virus cross-species transmission barriers. First, the determinants of influenza virus transmissibility—the initial component of human-to-human transmission barriers—are still elusive. Second, it may be too tempting to equate the crossing of human-to-human transmission barriers with the acquisition of transmissibility, and fail to recognize the complexity of the last adaptation step to be overcome by zoonotic influenza viruses. In 1976, at Fort Dix, in New-Jersey (USA), at least 230 military personnel were infected by a swine influenza virus H1N1 . this website It caused a short epidemic, simultaneous to an epidemic caused by seasonal influenza virus H3N2. Serologic studies performed at the time demonstrated that
heterosubtypic immunity against the H1N1 virus following infection with the H3N2 virus seldom occurred, and individuals with an antibody titer rise to the H1N1 virus were considered to have been infected with the emerging swine virus. It was thus a transmissible virus, yet did not spread beyond the basic combat training population for unknown reasons. Competition between the emerging and seasonal viruses, potentially via innate immunity, may have played
a role in the extinction of the former. Therefore, besides transmissibility, additional factors determine the ability of zoonotic influenza viruses to spread and be maintained in the human population, causing worldwide pandemic waves eventually leading to the establishment of human-adapted variants. These additional factors affect the reproductive fitness of transmissible zoonotic influenza viruses and govern their ability to spread in the human population. In particular, the pathogenicity of an influenza virus likely influences its Electron transport chain pandemic potential by impacting transmissibility, contact between infected and naive individuals, and length of infectious period. In addition, pre-existing immunity modulates both transmissibility and pathogenicity, and thus affects pandemic potential. The complexity of the human-to-human transmission barriers, which act at the level of both individual and population, requires multidiscipinary research that link virus–cell interaction and immune response within individuals to influenza virus dynamics and herd immunity at the population level.