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J Comp Pathol . Identification of sialic acid receptors for influenza A virus in snakes

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  • J Comp Pathol . Identification of sialic acid receptors for influenza A virus in snakes

    J Comp Pathol


    . 2024 Jul 4:212:27-31.
    doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2024.06.001. Online ahead of print. Identification of sialic acid receptors for influenza A virus in snakes

    Yasmin C E Silva 1 , Pedro A Rezende 1 , Carlos E B Lopes 1 , Marcelo C Lopes 1 , Eric S Oliveira 1 , Marcelo P N de Carvalho 2 , Erica A Costa 3 , Roselene Ecco 4



    AffiliationsAbstract

    The tissue tropism and the wide host range of influenza A viruses are determined by the presence of sialic acid (SA) α2,3-Gal and SA α2,6-Gal receptors. Recent studies have shown that animals possessing both receptors allow for the rearrangement and emergence of new viral strains of public health importance. This study aimed to evaluate the expression and distribution of human and avian influenza A receptors in nine Neotropical snake species using lectin immunohistochemistry. We selected 17 snakes that were examined post mortem at the Veterinary Pathology Sector of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais between 2019 and 2023. Sections of nasal turbinate, trachea, lung, oral mucosa, stomach and intestine were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis using the lectins Maackia amurensis and Sambucus nigra. This research detected, for the first time, co-expression of SA α2,3-Gal and SA α2,6-Gal receptors in the respiratory and digestive tracts of snakes, indicating the possible susceptibility of these species to influenza A virus of avian and human origin. Consequently, snakes can be considered important species for monitoring influenza A in wild, urban and peri-urban environments. More studies should be conducted to investigate the role of snakes in influenza A epidemiology.

    Keywords: Maackia amurensis; Sambucus nigra; histochemistry; public health; zoonosis.

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