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Structure of the Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin

  • Colin W. Ward
Chapter
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 94/95)

Abstract

Influenza has plagued man for centuries and has been described as an unvarying disease caused by a varying virus (Kilbourne 1975). It frequently affects a large proportion of the population irrespective of age or previous infection history and remains today a poorly controlled disease, despite the fact that the infectious agent, influenza virus, was first isolated 50 years ago (see Beveridge 1977). Soon after its isolation and the development of techniques for its ready cultivation in developing chick embryos (Smith 1935), it was discovered that influenza virus particles could agglutinate red blood cells and that the virus content of preparations could be readily estimated by this hemagglutinin reaction (Hirst 1941; McClelland and Hare 1941). It was further shown that antibody preparations which neutralized infectivity also prevented hemagglutination (Hirst 1942; Salk 1944). These simple techniques led to influenza virus becoming one of the most studied of all virus particles. It was one of the first viruses to be viewed under the electron microscope (Taylor et al. 1943) and was found to consist of an enveloped particle whose external surface is covered by a layer of closely spaced surface projections or spikes (Hornest al. 1960; Hoyle et al. 1961;Waterson et al. 1961; Wrigley 1979). It was subsequently shown that there are two types of spike on the outer surface of influenza virus (Laver andValentine 1969) and both are glycoproteins. The major one is the hemagglutinin, a lectin which specifically binds to terminal N-acetylneuraminic acid residues of glycoproteins or glycolipid (see Winzler 1969) and is involved in the initial stages of virus infection (Klenk et al. 1975;Lazarowitz and Choppin 1975).

Keywords

Influenza Virus Antigenic Drift Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin Cyanogen Bromide Fragment Amino Acid Sequence Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin W. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Protein ChemistryCSIROParkvilleAustralia

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