There have been four human influenza A pandemics in just over 100 years: 1918, 1958, 1968, and 2009, of subtypes H1, H2 and H3. These trace at least some of their origins to animal sources, and back into the avian reservoir. To understand the evolutionary history of influenza viruses, and gain insights into what might happen next, studies into their diversity (types, subtypes, genome constellations, clades), circulation, spill over, dynamics in populations, replication, transmission, pathogenesis and selective advantages in avian and mammalian species are important. Additionally, every year, it is important to understand which variants and strains are circulating for both animal and human species. However, this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic and especially the social distancing restrictions, will this also affect the dynamics of influenza in the human population?
The purpose of this Special Issue is to bring together a series of articles (both reviews and original research) related to the evolution and epidemiology of influenza viruses. All things are interesting about this virus! From deep time evolution and speciation, through zoonoses, cross species transmissions and reassortments, to topics such as predicting influenza outbreaks, discovering new strains and finding mutations which alter virulence or transmissibility, there are many possible areas of interest. We welcome articles exploring theoretical and computational studies, as well as experimental and field studies.
Dr. Samantha Lycett
Prof. Paul Digard
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