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Pandemic Avian Influenza and Intra/Interhaemagglutinin Subtype Electrostatic Variation among Viruses Isolated from Avian, Mammalian, and Human Hosts

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  • Pandemic Avian Influenza and Intra/Interhaemagglutinin Subtype Electrostatic Variation among Viruses Isolated from Avian, Mammalian, and Human Hosts

    Biomed Res Int. 2018 May 17;2018:3870508. doi: 10.1155/2018/3870508. eCollection 2018.
    Pandemic Avian Influenza and Intra/Interhaemagglutinin Subtype Electrostatic Variation among Viruses Isolated from Avian, Mammalian, and Human Hosts.

    Righetto I1, Filippini F1.
    Author information

    Abstract

    Host jump can result in deadly pandemic events when avian influenza A viruses broaden their host specificity and become able to infect mammals, including humans. Haemagglutinin-the major capsid protein in influenza A viruses-is subjected to high rate mutations, of which several occur at its "head": the receptor-binding domain that mediates specific binding to host cell receptors. Such surface-changing mutations may lead to antigenically novel influenza A viruses hence in pandemics by host jump and in vaccine escape by antigenic drift. Changes in haemagglutinin surface electrostatics have been recently associated with antigenic drift and with clades evolution and spreading in H5N1 and H9N2 viruses. We performed a comparative analysis of haemagglutinin surface electrostatics to investigate clustering and eventual fingerprints among representative pandemic (H5 and H7) and nonpandemic (H4 and H6) avian influenza viral subtypes. We observed preferential sorting of viruses isolated from mammalian/human hosts among these electrostatic clusters of a subtype; however, sorting was not "100% specific" to the different clusters. Therefore, electrostatic fingerprints can help in understanding, but they cannot explain alone the host jumping mechanism.


    PMID: 29888260 PMCID: PMC5985083 DOI: 10.1155/2018/3870508
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