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Vaccine. 2008 Sep 12;26 Suppl 4:D54-8.

Pathogenicity of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in mammals.

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Department of Virology and National Influenza Center, Erasmus Medical Center, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


In recent years, there has been an increase in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in poultry. Occasionally, these outbreaks have resulted in transmission of influenza viruses to humans and other mammals, with symptoms ranging from conjunctivitis to pneumonia and death. Here, the current knowledge of the determinants of pathogenicity of HPAI viruses in mammals is summarized. It is becoming apparent that common mechanisms exist across influenza A virus strains and subtypes, through which influenza viruses adapt to mammals and gain or loose pathogenicity.

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