Voici pourquoi l’épidémie de grippe saisonnière de cette année est l’une des pires de ces dernières décennies

Actuellement, le Royaume-Uni est frappé par l’une des pires grippes saisonnière de ces dernières décennies. Un total de 664 personnes ont dû être hospitalisées et 85 décès ont déjà été confirmés depuis le début de l’hiver 2017.

Actuellement, le Royaume-Uni est frappé par l’une des pires grippes saisonnière de ces dernières décennies. Un total de 664 personnes ont dû être hospitalisées et 85 décès ont déjà été confirmés depuis le début de l’hiver 2017.

Les médias britanniques accusent la « grippe australienne » d’être à l’origine de cette épidémie. Mais en réalité, il n’y a pas seulement une souche de grippe dont nous devrions nous inquiéter, et le terme de « grippe australienne » n’est pas totalement approprié. Mais dans un premier temps, parlons un peu des souches de grippe. Il n’y a pas vraiment un virus de la grippe. Le virus de la grippe est un nom que nous donnons à un groupe de quatre virus étroitement apparentés : grippe A, grippe B, grippe C et grippe D.

Bien que les humains ne puissent pas attraper la grippe D (porcs et vaches), nous pouvons être infectés par la grippe A, B et C. Toutefois, les responsables de la santé publique sont moins préoccupés par la grippe C, car elle ne représente pas une cause majeure de maladie. Mais, la grippe A et B sont une réelle menace. La grippe A a été identifiée (et provoque des maladies) chez de nombreux animaux, y compris les oiseaux, les chauves-souris, les chiens, les porcs et les pingouins. L’une des principales préoccupations est la pandémie de grippe, où un nouveau virus se propage à travers le monde très facilement, car nous n’avons pas eu l’opportunité de construire une immunité pour la contrer.

Les grippes A et B peuvent également être subdivisées par les protéines qu’elles transportent à leur surface : l’hémagglutinine (H) et la neuraminidase (N). Ces protéines aident le virus à identifier les bonnes cellules à infecter. Pour la grippe A, il y a 18 H et 11 N qui ont été identifiés jusqu’à présent. D’où également les diverses appellations, telles que H1N1 pour la grippe porcine ou H5N1 pour la grippe aviaire. Cela contraste avec le fait qu’il n’y a que deux lignées de la grippe B, nommées d’après des villes du Japon et de l’Australie : respectivement, Yamagata et Victoria.

Les H et les N évoluent continuellement en réponse à notre système immunitaire, qui reconnaît le virus et crée des anticorps pour que ce dernier ne se s’installe pas davantage. Un vaccin fournit généralement les protéines H et N, sans le virus potentiellement dangereux. Les scientifiques suivent donc en permanence les H et les N des virus de la grippe actuelle, et ajustent le vaccin en conséquence, pour qu’il corresponde au mieux à la grippe en question.

La « grippe australienne » se réfère à un type de souche de virus grippal A, la souche H3N2. L’hémisphère sud, y compris l’Australie, connaît actuellement l’une de ses pires saisons grippales et il s’agit du même virus qui a atteint les rives britanniques. Mais nous ne savons pas exactement d’où provient le virus dans un premier temps : tout ce que nous pouvons dire, c’est que son origine n’était très probablement pas en Australie. Il est possible que ce dernier provienne de régions subtropicales qui n’ont pas de saison d’hiver.

En effet, ces régions ne souffrent pas des mêmes grandes épidémies de grippe que les pays comme le Royaume-Uni et l’Australie. Actuellement, nous ne savons pas réellement pourquoi, mais les scientifiques suggèrent que cela aurait un lien avec la température ou l’humidité. Au lieu de cela, ces régions subtropicales ont une circulation constante de grippes de niveau inférieur, qui permet aux virus grippaux de persister.

Ce qui est inquiétant à propos de cette grippe saisonnière, est l’expérience qu’a fait l’Australie lors de la dernière saison de grippe : le pays a été durement touché par le virus de la grippe H3N2. Il s’agit d’une souche de grippe saisonnière typique (comme la H1N1), mais celle-ci a tendance à être plus difficile à contrôler. En effet, la grippe H3N2 provoque plus d’hospitalisations et de décès chez les personnes âgées, ce qui rend également plus compliqué le fait d’élaborer des vaccins efficaces.

De plus, il n’y a pas que la grippe H3N2 à prendre en compte cette année, en particulier au Royaume-Uni. Bien qu’efficace contre les autres souches, cette saison, le vaccin est efficace à environ 20% contre le virus H3N2, ce qui n’est pas un pourcentage très élevé. En effet, le virus a inévitablement évolué, tandis que le vaccin était en cours de production. Cela est dû à une particularité lors de la production des vaccins. Les composants sont cultivés dans des œufs de poule, puis inactivés avant d’être utilisés dans les vaccins.

Les virus de la grippe mutent rapidement et évoluent pour s’adapter à leur environnement. Bien entendu, un œuf de poule est un environnement très différent d’un corps humain, de sorte que le résultat final peut être un virus qui n’est pas le mieux adapté à un vaccin contre la grippe. Et c’est ce qui semble s’être produit dans le cas du dernier vaccin en date contre le virus H3N2.

Les épidémies de grippe saisonnière sont généralement causées par un mélange de virus. Cette année, le mélange se compose principalement du virus H3N2 et de la grippe B. Malheureusement, l’augmentation de la proportion de la grippe B la rend plus difficile à combattre, car le vaccin le plus populaire au Royaume-Uni est un vaccin « trivalent » qui protège contre trois virus de la grippe : H1N1, H3N2 et l’un des deux types de grippe B. Cependant cette année, l’autre type de grippe B (Yamagata) est plus commune, signifiant que les personnes ayant reçu le vaccin trivalent seront moins bien protégées.

Un vaccin pour les gouverner tous ? La grippe est très diversifiée. Et cette diversité peut avoir des conséquences dévastatrices pour la santé humaine et animale. Bien que notre capacité à tracer et à prédire les virus de la grippe pour mettre au point des vaccins sûrs et efficaces s’améliore, les virus gardent cependant toujours une longueur d’avance sur nous.

À travers le monde, de nombreux scientifiques poursuivent leurs recherches afin de produire un vaccin universel contre la grippe : l’idée serait de mettre au point un vaccin unique, administré uniquement à quelques reprises au cours de la vie, qui permettrait de protéger les individus contre tous les types de grippe, indépendamment de leur type et de leur composition.

 

Source:trustmyscience.com

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