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What Is the H1N1 Virus Structure?
First it is important to understand that the whole virus itself is not infectious and that the infectious part of the virus is called the virion. The virion of the h1n1 virus for the most part is spherical. It is considered an enveloped structure which means it contains a lipid outer membrane. Embedded in this membrane are little spikes, which are made of proteins attached to sugars, these types of structures are called glycoproteins. There are two different types of spikes in the h1n1 virus structure, HA and NA. The spikes determine the type and subtype of virus a particular flu virus will become. The human body responds to these spikes and creates antibodies against them to help protect against infection. Certain antiviral medicines, such as Tamiflu, a medicine given to help fight swine flu side effects, recognizes and attacks the NA spikes on the h1n1 virus structure. Deeper within the virion is the infectious RNA that attacks other cells and allows for replication of the h1n1 virus within the host cell. In a type A flu virus, like that of the swine flu, there are eight different RNA particles that replicate in the host cell.
Hopefully, with a little better understanding of the h1n1 meaning in relation to its virus structure one can have a better idea of how the virus attacks and replicates within the human body.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Flu12 Jan 2010|