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. 2013 Jun 10;5(6):1431-46.
doi: 10.3390/v5061431.

Viral and Host Factors Required for Avian H5N1 Influenza A Virus Replication in Mammalian Cells

Free PMC article

Viral and Host Factors Required for Avian H5N1 Influenza A Virus Replication in Mammalian Cells

Hong Zhang et al. Viruses. .
Free PMC article


Following the initial and sporadic emergence into humans of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A viruses in Hong Kong in 1997, we have come to realize the potential for avian influenza A viruses to be transmitted directly from birds to humans. Understanding the basic viral and cellular mechanisms that contribute to infection of mammalian species with avian influenza viruses is essential for developing prevention and control measures against possible future human pandemics. Multiple physical and functional cellular barriers can restrict influenza A virus infection in a new host species, including the cell membrane, the nuclear envelope, the nuclear environment, and innate antiviral responses. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on viral and host factors required for avian H5N1 influenza A viruses to successfully establish infections in mammalian cells. We focus on the molecular mechanisms underpinning mammalian host restrictions, as well as the adaptive mutations that are necessary for an avian influenza virus to overcome them. It is likely that many more viral and host determinants remain to be discovered, and future research in this area should provide novel and translational insights into the biology of influenza virus-host interactions.

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