American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Searching of Main Cause Leading to Severe Influenza A Virus Mutations and Consequently to Influenza Pandemics/Epidemics

Guang Wu and Shaomin Yan

DOI : 10.3844/ajidsp.2005.116.123

American Journal of Infectious Diseases

Volume 1, Issue 2

Pages 116-123


The unpredictable mutations in the proteins from influenza A virus lead to the great difficulty in prevention of possible outbreak of bird flu and pandemic/epidemic of influenza. This unpredictability is due to the fact that we know little about the causes that lead to the mutations. In three of our recent studies on the hemagglutinins from influenza A virus, we unintentionally noticed the periodicity of mutations in hemagglutinins similar to the periodicity of sunspot. We calculated the amino-acid pair predictability and amino-acid distribution rank, which are developed by us over last several years and can numerically present the evolution of proteins in question, of 1217 full-length hemagglutinins from influenza A viruses. We then used the fast Fourier transform to determine the periodicity of mutations in the hemagglutinins. We compare the periodicities of mutations in influenza A virus hemagglutinins with those of solar and galactic cosmic rays and find a main periodicity of the mutations identical to that of sunspot and neutron rate (11 years/circle). Then we plot the sunspot number with respect to the historical pandemics/epidemics/non-pandemic new strains over last three centuries and compare the recorded sunspots with the historical pandemics before 1700. Both show a good agreement between sunspot activity and influenza related events. As the histories of Sun and galaxy are incomparably much longer than the history of influenza virus, the only logical deduction is that the hemagglutinin periodicities, which are identical to the periodicities of solar and galactic cosmic rays, are attribute to the solar and galactic activity. As the hemagglutinin is a sample of influenza A virus, we can logically deduce the role of migratory wild birds on the outbreak of bird flu and influenza, that is, cosmic rays are heading towards the polar regions, where more mutations occur in influenza A virus either within the wild birds or in their living environments and as the winter approaches, these waterfowl fly forwards warm south bringing back the new mutated influenza A virus leading to outbreak of bird flu or influenza.


© 2005 Guang Wu and Shaomin Yan. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.