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New cattle virus officially named influenza D

A new influenza virus discovered by researchers, including one of Indian-origin, that affects cattle has been officially named Influenza D. The International Committee of Taxonomy of Virus announced a new genus, Orthomyxovirdae, with a single species, Influenza D virus, because of its distinctness from other influenza types - A, B and C.

Ben Hause from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in the US isolated the virus from a diseased pig in 2011. He later found that cattle were the primary reservoir for influenza D. This is the first influenza virus identified in cattle, professor Feng Li from SDSU said.

"From a science viewpoint, it is very exciting to work with a brand-new virus," said Li. The goal is to determine whether influenza D, which has 50 per cent similarity to human influenza C, can cause problems in humans, said Radhey Kaushik, professor and assistant head of the biology and microbiology department at SDSU. 
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