Multiple gene mutations identified in patients infected with influenza A (H7N9) virus

Sci Rep. 2016 May 9;6:25614. doi: 10.1038/srep25614.


Influenza A (H7N9) virus induced high mortality since 2013. It is important to elucidate the potential genetic variations that contribute to virus infection susceptibilities. In order to identify genetic mutations that might increase host susceptibility to infection, we performed exon sequencing and validated the SNPS by Sanger sequencing on 18 H7N9 patients. Blood samples were collected from 18 confirmed H7N9 patients. The genomic DNA was captured with the Agilent SureSelect Human All Exon kit, sequenced on the Illumina Hiseq 2000, and the resulting data processed and annotated with Genome analysis Tool. SNPs were verified by independent Sanger sequencing. The DAVID database and the DAPPLE database were used to do bioinformatics analysis. Through exon sequencing and Sanger sequencing, we identified 21 genes that were highly associated with H7N9 influenza infection. Protein-protein interaction analysis showed that direct interactions among genetic products were significantly higher than expected (p = 0.004), and DAVID analysis confirmed the defense-related functions of these genes. Gene mutation profiles of survived and non-survived patients were similar, suggesting some of genes identified in this study may be associated with H7N9 influenza susceptibility. Host specific genetic determinants of disease severity identified by this approach may provide new targets for the treatment of H7N9 influenza.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Exome / genetics
  • Exons / genetics
  • Gene Ontology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype / genetics*
  • Influenza, Human / genetics*
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics