Caister Academic Press

Avian Influenza: Molecular Mechanisms of Pathogenesis and Host Range

Hans-Dieter Klenk, Mikhail Matrosovich and Jürgen Stech
from: Animal Viruses: Molecular Biology (Edited by: Thomas C. Mettenleiter and Francisco Sobrino). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Wild aquatic birds are the natural hosts for a large variety of influenza A viruses. Occasionally viruses are transmitted from this reservoir to other species and may then cause devastating outbreaks in domestic poultry or give rise to human influenza pandemics. We show here that proteolytic activation of the hemagglutinin is an important determinant for pathogenicity and that adaptation of the receptor binding specificity of the hemagglutinin and adaptation of the polymerase to new hosts play important roles in interspecies transmission read more ...
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