Experientia

, Volume 43, Issue 11–12, pp 1197–1201

Molecular aspects of the epidemiology of virus disease

  • C. Scholtissek
Reviews

Summary

With regard to molecular epidemiology, influenza A viruses belong to the best-studied virus systems. At least two large reservoirs of influenza A viruses have been built up in nature, one in humans and another one in water fowls. The latter one is very heterogenous, consisting of viruses belonging to 13 hemagglutinin (HA) and 9 neuraminidase (NA) subtypes in almost all possible combinations. The segmented structure of the influenza virus genome allows the creation of new influenza strains by reassortment. By replacement of the HA gene of human strains new pandemic viruses can be generated (antigenic shift). The particular structure of the HA enables the human influenza A-viruses to create variants which can escape the immune response of the host (antigenic drift). The nucleoprotein is responsible for keeping those two large reservoirs apart. Mixing of genes of viruses from these two reservoirs seems to happen predominantly by double infection of pigs, which apparently are tolerant for infection by either human or avian influenza viruses. The molecular mechanisms described for influenza viruses can be explained by the particular structure of their genome and their components and cannot be generalized. Each virus has developed its own strategy to multiply and to spread.

Key words

Epidemiology of influenza antigenic drift antigenic shift virus reservoirs reassortment 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Bonin, J., and Scholtissek, C., Mouse neurotropic recombinants of influenza A viruses. Archs Virol.75 (1983) 255–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gammelin, M., et al., manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Geraci, R., St. Aubin, D. J., Barker, I. K., Webster, R. G., Hinshaw, V. S., Bean, W. J., Ruhnke, H. L., Prescott, J. H., Early, G., Baker, V. S., Madoff, S., and Schooly, R. T., Mass mortality of harbor seals: Pneumonia associated with influenza virus. Science215 (1982) 1129–1131.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hinshaw, V. S., Webster, R. G., and Turner, B., Waterborne transmission of influenza A viruses. Intervirology11 (1979) 66–68.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hinshaw, V. S., Bean, W. J., and Webster, R. G., Biologic and genetic characterization of an influenza A virus associated with epizootie pneumonia in seals, in: Genetic Variation among Influenza Viruses, pp. 515–524. Ed. D. P. Nayak. Academic Press, New York-London-Toronto-Sydney-San Francisco 1981.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kawaoka, Y., Naeve, C. W., and Webster, R. G., Is virulence of H5N2 influenza viruses in chickens associated with loss of carbohydrate from the hemagglutinin? Virology139 (1984) 303–316.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kistner, O., Müller, H., Becht, H., and Scholtissek, C., Phosphopeptide fingerprints of nucleoproteins of various influenza A virus strains grown in different host cells. J. gen. Virol.66 (1985) 465–472.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kistner, O., et al., manuscript in preparation.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Klenk, H.-D., and Rott, R., Cotranslational and posttranslational processing of viral glycoproteins. Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immun.90 (1980) 19–48.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Palese, P., The genes of influenza virus. Cell10 (1977) 1–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Reinacher, M., Bonin, J., Narayan, O., and Scholtissek, C., Pathogenesis of neurovirulent influenza A virus infection in mice. Route of entry of virus into brain determines infection of different populations entry of virus into brain determines infection of different populations of cells. Lab. Invest.49 (1983) 686–692PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Scholtissek, C., Harms, E., Rohde, W., Orlich, M., and Rott, R., Correlation between RNA fragments of fowl plague virus and their corresponding gene functions. Virology74 (1976) 332–344.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Scholtissek, C., Rott, R., Orlich, M., Harms, E., and Rohde, W., Correlation of pathogenicity and gene constellation of an influenza A virus (fowl plague). I. Exchange of a single gene. Virology81 (1977) 74–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Scholtissek, C., The genome of the influenza virus. Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immun.80 (1978) 139–169.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Scholtissek, C., Rohde, W., von Hoyningen, V., and Rott, R., On the origin of the human influenza virus subtypes H2N2 and H3N2. Virology87 (1978) 13–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Scholtissek, C., Koennecke, I., and Rott, R., Host range recombinants of fowl plague (influenza A) virus. Virology91 (1978) 79–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Scholtissek, C., The genes coding for surface glycoproteins of influenza A viruses contain a small conserved and a large variable region. Virology93 (1979) 594–597.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Scholtissek, C., Vallbracht, A., Flehmig, B., and Rott, R., Correlation of pathogenicity and gene constellation of influenza A viruses. II. Highly neurovirulent recombinants derived from non-neurovirulent or weakly neurovirulent parent virus strains. Virology95 (1979) 492–500.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Scholtissek, C., Stability of infectious influenza A viruses to treatment at low pH and heating. Archs Virol.85 (1985) 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Scholtissek, C., Bürger, H., Kistner, O., and Shortridge, K. F., The nucleoprotein as a possible major factor in determining host specificity of influenza H3N2 viruses. Virology147 (1985) 287–294.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Scholtissek, C., Molecular biological background of the species and organ specificity of influenza A viruses. Angew. Chem. int. Ed.25 (1986) 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shortridge, K. F., and Stuart-Harris, C. H., An influenza epicentre? Lancet2 (1982) 812–813.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Skehel, J. J., Bayley, P. M., Brown, E. B., Martins, S. R., Waterfield, M. D., White, J. M., Wilson, I. A., and Wiley, D. C., Changes in the conformation of the influenza virus hemagglutinin at the pH optimum of virus mediated fusion. Proc. natl Acad. Sci. USA79 (1982) 968–972.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Webster, R. G., Yakhno, M., Hinshaw, V. S., Bean, W. J., and Murti, G., Intestinal influenza: Replication and characterization of influenza viruses in ducks. Virology84 (1978) 268–276.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Scholtissek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für VirologieJustus-Liebig-Universität GiessenGiessen(Federal Republic of Germany)

Personalised recommendations