Previous work has shown that fever in influenza of ferrets occurs following release of endogenous pyrogen from virus-phagocyte interaction in the upper respiratory tract (URT), and suggested that the poor inflammatory response and correspondingly low fever elicited by A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1), compared with H3N2 reassortant clones of A/Puerto Rico/8/34-A/England/939/69, were related to its H1 and N1 surface antigens. Nasal virus levels, inflammatory and pyrexial responses produced in ferrets by clones 31 (H3N1) and 64b (H1N2) of the same reassortant system suggested a connection between the H1 antigen and low inflammatory response, but results were not conclusive. Unlike A/Puerto Rico/8/34, two recent H1N1 isolates, A/USSR/90/77 and A/Fiji/15899/83, produced a high inflammatory response yet low fever despite large amounts of virus in the URT, suggesting that either no connection exists between the acquisition of the H1 antigen and production of a low inflammatory response, or the H1 antigen of recent isolates, whilst antigenically related to that of A/Puerto Rico/8/34, is biologically different.

Keyword(s): ferrets , fever and influenza virus

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