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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2005;59:553-86.

The origins of new pandemic viruses: the acquisition of new host ranges by canine parvovirus and influenza A viruses.

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  • 1J. A. Baker Institute, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA. crp3@cornell.edu


Transfer of viruses between hosts to create a new self-sustaining epidemic is rare; however, those new viruses can cause severe outbreaks. Examples of such viruses include three pandemic human influenza A viruses and canine parvovirus in dogs. In each case one virus made the original transfer and spread worldwide, and then further adaptation resulted in the emergence of variants worldwide. For the influenza viruses several changes were required for growth and spread between humans, and the emergence of human H2N2 and H3N2 strains in 1957 and 1968 involved the acquisition of three or two new genomic segments, respectively. Adaptation to humans involved several viral genes including the hemagglutinin, the neuraminidase, and the replication proteins. The canine adaptation of the parvoviruses involved capsid protein changes altering the recognition of the host transferrin receptors, allowing canine transferrin receptor binding and its use as a receptor for cell infection.

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