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Virology. 2015 May;479-480:234-46. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Transmission of influenza A viruses.

Author information

  • 1Influenza Research Institute, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 575 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA.
  • 2Influenza Research Institute, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 575 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711, USA; Division of Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and International Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan. Electronic address: kawaokay@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu.

Abstract

Influenza A viruses cause respiratory infections that range from asymptomatic to deadly in humans. Widespread outbreaks (pandemics) are attributable to 'novel' viruses that possess a viral hemagglutinin (HA) gene to which humans lack immunity. After a pandemic, these novel viruses form stable virus lineages in humans and circulate until they are replaced by other novel viruses. The factors and mechanisms that facilitate virus transmission among hosts and the establishment of novel lineages are not completely understood, but the HA and basic polymerase 2 (PB2) proteins are thought to play essential roles in these processes by enabling avian influenza viruses to infect mammals and replicate efficiently in their new host. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the contributions of HA, PB2, and other viral components to virus transmission and the formation of new virus lineages.

KEYWORDS:

Gain-of-function; HA; Influenza virus; NA; PB2; Receptor-binding; Transmission; Virus lineage

PMID:
25812763
PMCID:
PMC4424116
DOI:
10.1016/j.virol.2015.03.009
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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