Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 2014 Apr 10;157(2):329-339. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.040.

Identification, characterization, and natural selection of mutations driving airborne transmission of A/H5N1 virus.

Author information

1
Department of Viroscience, Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015GE Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
2
Institute of Virology, Philipps-University, 35043 Marburg, Germany.
3
Department of Viroscience, Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015GE Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address: r.fouchier@erasmusmc.nl.

Abstract

Recently, A/H5N1 influenza viruses were shown to acquire airborne transmissibility between ferrets upon targeted mutagenesis and virus passage. The critical genetic changes in airborne A/Indonesia/5/05 were not yet identified. Here, five substitutions proved to be sufficient to determine this airborne transmission phenotype. Substitutions in PB1 and PB2 collectively caused enhanced transcription and virus replication. One substitution increased HA thermostability and lowered the pH of membrane fusion. Two substitutions independently changed HA binding preference from α2,3-linked to α2,6-linked sialic acid receptors. The loss of a glycosylation site in HA enhanced overall binding to receptors. The acquired substitutions emerged early during ferret passage as minor variants and became dominant rapidly. Identification of substitutions that are essential for airborne transmission of avian influenza viruses between ferrets and their associated phenotypes advances our fundamental understanding of virus transmission and will increase the value of future surveillance programs and public health risk assessments.

Comment in

PMID:
24725402
PMCID:
PMC4003409
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center