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Cell Host Microbe. 2014 Jun 11;15(6):692-705. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2014.05.006.

Circulating avian influenza viruses closely related to the 1918 virus have pandemic potential.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 575 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA; ERATO Infection-Induced Host Responses Project, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan.
  • 2Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 575 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK.
  • 4Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan.
  • 5Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
  • 6Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK.
  • 7ERATO Infection-Induced Host Responses Project, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan.
  • 8ERATO Infection-Induced Host Responses Project, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan; Laboratory of Veterinary Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan.
  • 9Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Iwate 020-8550, Japan; Influenza Virus Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan.
  • 10Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 575 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA; ERATO Infection-Induced Host Responses Project, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan; Division of Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan; Department of Special Pathogens, International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan. Electronic address: kawaokay@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu.

Abstract

Wild birds harbor a large gene pool of influenza A viruses that have the potential to cause influenza pandemics. Foreseeing and understanding this potential is important for effective surveillance. Our phylogenetic and geographic analyses revealed the global prevalence of avian influenza virus genes whose proteins differ only a few amino acids from the 1918 pandemic influenza virus, suggesting that 1918-like pandemic viruses may emerge in the future. To assess this risk, we generated and characterized a virus composed of avian influenza viral segments with high homology to the 1918 virus. This virus exhibited pathogenicity in mice and ferrets higher than that in an authentic avian influenza virus. Further, acquisition of seven amino acid substitutions in the viral polymerases and the hemagglutinin surface glycoprotein conferred respiratory droplet transmission to the 1918-like avian virus in ferrets, demonstrating that contemporary avian influenza viruses with 1918 virus-like proteins may have pandemic potential.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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PMID:
24922572
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4205238
Free PMC Article
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