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Key Protein From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Flu Virus And How It Might Mutate Revealed

Date:
March 17, 2006
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
The structure of an H5 protein from a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus and compares this structure to the same proteins from other pandemic influenza A viruses, including the deadly 1918 virus has been detailed. Further, they discuss a potential route whereby H5N1 might mutate and acquire human specificity.

The recent spread of deadly H5N1 influenza A virus among birds in Asia, Europe, and Africa has been the focus of much attention and concern worldwide--largely because of the danger that the virus will mutate into a form that will become easily transmissible from person to person.

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In a new article published online by Science, a research team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in California reveals the structure of an H5 protein from a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus and compares this structure to the same proteins from other pandemic influenza A viruses, including the deadly 1918 virus.

Further, they discuss a potential route whereby H5N1 might mutate and acquire human specificity. The work also describes the application of a new technology called glycan microarrays, which can be used to determine whether H5 proteins from various strains of H5N1 target human or bird cells and map how their specificity is changing.

Article: "Structure and Receptor Specificity of the Hemagglutinin from an H5N1 Influenza Virus," James Stevens et al. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1124513 (2006).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Key Protein From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Flu Virus And How It Might Mutate Revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316182017.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2006, March 17). Key Protein From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Flu Virus And How It Might Mutate Revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316182017.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Key Protein From Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Flu Virus And How It Might Mutate Revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316182017.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

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