Science in China Series C: Life Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 428–438

Interspecies transmission and host restriction of avian H5N1 influenza virus

Special Topic Review


Long-term endemicity of avian H5N1 influenza virus in poultry and continuous sporadic human infections in several countries has raised the concern of another potential pandemic influenza. Suspicion of the avian origin of the previous pandemics results in the close investigation of the mechanism of interspecies transmission. Entry and fusion is the first step for the H5N1 influenza virus to get into the host cells affecting the host ranges. Therefore receptor usage study has been a major focus for the last few years. We now know the difference of the sialic acid structures and distributions in different species, even in the different parts of the same host. Many host factors interacting with the influenza virus component proteins have been identified and their role in the host range expansion and interspecies transmission is under detailed scrutiny. Here we review current progress in the receptor usage and host factors.


H5N1 influenza virus interspecies transmission virus adaptation host factors 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology (CASPMI), Institute of MicrobiologyChinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Institutes of Life Science (BioLS)Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)BeijingChina

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