Molecular characterization of the surface glycoprotein genes of an H5N1 influenza virus isolated from a human in Guangdong, China
In March 2006, a human H5N1-infected case was found in Guangdong province, China. Here, we molecularly characterized the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of the A/China/GD01/06 (GD01) strain causing the infection. The phylogenetic analyses suggested that the HA and NA genes of GD01 and recent human H5N1 viruses from different provinces of China were probably derived from a common ancestor and the H5N1 human infection was acquired directly from affected poultry. At the cleavage site of HA, GD01 contained multiple basic amino acids, a feature characteristic of highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses. The virus possessed Gln222, Gly224, Ser223, Asn182, Gln192 residues adjacent to the receptor-binding site, preferential for recognizing SAα2, 3Gal. In addition, the GD01 NA amino acid sequence possessed Asn344 and Phe466, which might be related to the low-pH stability of the sialidase activity and gastrointestinal symptoms of the patient.
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