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Sci Rep. 2016 May 9;6:25614. doi: 10.1038/srep25614.

Multiple gene mutations identified in patients infected with influenza A (H7N9) virus.

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Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, China.
Key Laboratory of Birth Defects, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Division of Neonatology, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, China.
Department of Tuberculosis, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, Fudan University, China.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, China.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
BGI-tech, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Qingpu Central Hospital, Fudan University, China.


Influenza A (H7N9) virus induced high mortality since 2013. It is important to elucidate the potential genetic variations that contribute to virus infection susceptibilities. In order to identify genetic mutations that might increase host susceptibility to infection, we performed exon sequencing and validated the SNPS by Sanger sequencing on 18 H7N9 patients. Blood samples were collected from 18 confirmed H7N9 patients. The genomic DNA was captured with the Agilent SureSelect Human All Exon kit, sequenced on the Illumina Hiseq 2000, and the resulting data processed and annotated with Genome analysis Tool. SNPs were verified by independent Sanger sequencing. The DAVID database and the DAPPLE database were used to do bioinformatics analysis. Through exon sequencing and Sanger sequencing, we identified 21 genes that were highly associated with H7N9 influenza infection. Protein-protein interaction analysis showed that direct interactions among genetic products were significantly higher than expected (pā€‰=ā€‰0.004), and DAVID analysis confirmed the defense-related functions of these genes. Gene mutation profiles of survived and non-survived patients were similar, suggesting some of genes identified in this study may be associated with H7N9 influenza susceptibility. Host specific genetic determinants of disease severity identified by this approach may provide new targets for the treatment of H7N9 influenza.

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