Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 196, Issue 4, pp 191–201 | Cite as

The threat of avian influenza a (H5N1): part II: Clues to pathogenicity and pathology

Review

Abstract

Among emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, influenza constitutes one of the major threats to mankind. In this review series epidemiologic, virologic and pathologic concerns raised by infections of humans with avian influenza virus A/H5N1 are discussed. The second part focuses on experimental and clinical results, which give insights in the pathogenic mechanisms of H5N1 infection in humans. H5N1 is poorly transmitted to humans. However, H5N1-induced disease is very severe. More information on the role entry barriers, H5N1 target cells and on H5N1-induced modulation of the host immune response is needed to learn more about the determinants of H5N1 pathogenicity.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Rouslan Kotchetkov for critical reading of the manuscript. The authors have been supported by the European Commission-funded projects LSH-CT-2004-512054 (Contract number: 512054) and COOP-CT-2004 (Contract number: 512864).

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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Medical VirologyHospital of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe UniversityFrankfurt/MGermany

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