Caister Academic Press

Receptor Specificity, Host-Range, and Pathogenicity of Influenza Viruses

Mikhail N. Matrosovich, Hans-Dieter Klenk and Yoshihiro Kawaoka
from: Influenza Virology: Current Topics (Edited by: Yoshihiro Kawaoka). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2006)


Influenza viruses attach to target cells via multivalent interactions of the viral hemagglutinin protein with sialyloligosaccharide moieties of cellular glycoconjugates. The interactions between the virus and cellular receptors and extracellular inhibitors determine virus host-range and tissue tropism. Sialic acids are ubiquitous on the surface of most avian and mammalian cells. Therefore, in addition to mediating infection of susceptible cells, influenza viruses can bind to a variety of other cell types leading to significant biological responses, such as polyclonal activation of B-lymphocytes, deactivation of neutrophils, and stimulation of inflammatory responses. Here, we discuss current knowledge of the influenza virus interactions with cellular receptors at the molecular level, outline methods used to characterize receptor specificity of influenza viruses, and give an overview of available data on the role of virus receptor specificity in host range restriction, interspecies transmission, and pathogenicity read more ...
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