Why ferrets get the same flu that we do

Mika Hiltunen [Public doamin] via Wikimedai Commons

Influenza A virus is a serious threat to human health, owing in part to the potential emergence of highly virulent strains resulting in pandemic infection that can kill millions of people. Ferrets are the dominant model system for studying influenza A virus because they alone are naturally susceptible to the same strains that infect humans. “For over 80 years we’ve known that ferrets are uniquely susceptible to human influenza A virus, but the precise reason was unknown,” according to Michael Jennings (Griffith University, Queensland, Australia), who led a study to explore this relationship.

Lab Anim. (NY) 44, 44 (2015).
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