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Epidemiol Infect. 2019 Nov 4;147:e297. doi: 10.1017/S0950268819001833.

High expression levels of influenza virus receptors in airway of the HBV-transgenic mice.

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Laboratory for Functional Glycomics, College of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China.
Cell Engineering Research Centre and Department of Cell Biology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China.
College of Medicine, Xi'an International University, Xi'an 710077, China.


In the human population, influenza A viruses are associated with acute respiratory illness and are responsible for millions of deaths annually. Avian and human influenza viruses typically have a different α2-3- and α2-6-linked sialic acid (SA) binding preference. Only a few amino acid changes in the haemagglutinin on the surface of avian influenza viruses (AIV) can cause a switch from avian to human receptor specificity, and the individuals with pathognostic chronic diseases might be more susceptible to AIV due to the decreased expression level of terminal α2-3-linked SA in their saliva. Here, using lectin and virus histochemical staining, we observed the higher expression levels of α2-3/6-linked SA influenza virus receptors in the airway of HBV-transgenic mice compared with that of control mice due to the significant decrease in control mice during ageing, which imply that this is also a risk factor for individuals with pathognostic chronic diseases susceptible to influenza viruses. Our findings will help understand the impact on influenza virus pathogenesis and transmission.


airway; influenza A virus; liver disease; receptors; α2-3/6-linked sialic acids


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