, Volume 51, Issue 20, pp 2472-2481

Sequence and epitope analysis of surface proteins of avian influenza H5N1 viruses from Asian patients

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Abstract

Increasing cases of human infections with the high pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 have raised great concem on potential human flu pandemics caused by H5N1. The two viral surface glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA) proteins, are major antigens of H5N1. Introducing new mutations on these two proteins is the major strategy used by H5N1 to expand host range and to avoid the recognition of host immune systems. We analyzed the two surface proteins of H5N1 from Asian human patients and identified many new mutation sites, including a few that were unique to certain lethal strains. We also analyzed the distribution of mutations on different epitopes of the two surface proteins. A receptor-binding site that might involve in the determination of host specificity of H5N1 was also found. Results reported here provided information for better understanding of the evolution trend of H5N1 genome in human.