Transmission of influenza A viruses

Virology. 2015 May;479-480:234-46. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Abstract

Influenza A viruses cause respiratory infections that range from asymptomatic to deadly in humans. Widespread outbreaks (pandemics) are attributable to 'novel' viruses that possess a viral hemagglutinin (HA) gene to which humans lack immunity. After a pandemic, these novel viruses form stable virus lineages in humans and circulate until they are replaced by other novel viruses. The factors and mechanisms that facilitate virus transmission among hosts and the establishment of novel lineages are not completely understood, but the HA and basic polymerase 2 (PB2) proteins are thought to play essential roles in these processes by enabling avian influenza viruses to infect mammals and replicate efficiently in their new host. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the contributions of HA, PB2, and other viral components to virus transmission and the formation of new virus lineages.

Keywords: Gain-of-function; HA; Influenza virus; NA; PB2; Receptor-binding; Transmission; Virus lineage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / genetics
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / enzymology
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Influenza A virus / growth & development*
  • Influenza, Human / transmission*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / transmission
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / genetics
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*
  • Zoonoses / transmission*
  • Zoonoses / virology

Substances

  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • PB2 protein, Influenzavirus A
  • Viral Proteins
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase