Receptor binding profiles of avian influenza virus hemagglutinin subtypes on human cells as a predictor of pandemic potential
Shelton, H., Ayora-Talavera, G., Ren, J., Loureiro, S., Pickles, R. J., Barclay, W. S. and Jones, I. M. (2011) Receptor binding profiles of avian influenza virus hemagglutinin subtypes on human cells as a predictor of pandemic potential. Journal of Virology, 85 (4). pp. 1875-1880. ISSN 0022-538X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01822-10
The host adaptation of influenza virus is partly dependent on the sialic acid (SA) isoform bound by the viral hemagglutinin (HA). Avian influenza viruses preferentially bind the α-2,3 SA and human influenza viruses the α-2,6 isoform. Each isoform is predominantly associated with different surface epithelial cell types of the human upper airway. Using recombinant HAs and human tracheal airway epithelial cells in vitro and ex vivo, we show that many avian HA subtypes do not adhere to this canonical view of SA specificity. The propensity of avian viruses to adapt to human receptors may thus be more widespread than previously supposed.