Prediction of Influenza A virus infections in humans using an Artificial Neural Network learning approach

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2017 Jul;2017:1186-1189. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2017.8037042.


The Influenza type A virus can be considered as one of the most severe viruses that can infect multiple species with often fatal consequences to the hosts. The Haemagglutinin (HA) gene of the virus has the potential to be a target for antiviral drug development realised through accurate identification of its sub-types and possible the targeted hosts. In this paper, to accurately predict if an Influenza type A virus has the capability to infect human hosts, by using only the HA gene, is therefore developed and tested. The predictive model follows three main steps; (i) decoding the protein sequences into numerical signals using EIIP amino acid scale, (ii) analysing these sequences by using Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) and extracting DFT-based features, (iii) using a predictive model, based on Artificial Neural Networks and using the features generated by DFT. In this analysis, from the Influenza Research Database, 30724, 18236 and 8157 HA protein sequences were collected for Human, Avian and Swine respectively. Given this set of the proteins, the proposed method yielded 97.36% (± 0.04%), 97.26% (± 0.26%), 0.978 (± 0.004), 0.963 (± 0.005) and 0.945 (±0.005) for the training accuracy validation accuracy, precision, recall and Mathews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) respectively, based on a 10-fold cross-validation. The classification model generated by using one of the largest dataset, if not the largest, yields promising results that could lead to early detection of such species and help develop precautionary measurements for possible human infections.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus
  • Influenza, Human*
  • Swine