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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

H7N9 mutation threats

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arirish View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 15 2017 at 7:14pm
H7N9 mutation threats

Study identifies H7N9 mutations that could ease spread among humans

Researchers looking for mutations that might make H7N9 avian influenza more easily transmissible among people identified three amino acid changes that would make the virus more likely to bind to human airway receptors. A team of researchers from the United States, including those from The Scripps Research Institute, and the Netherlands reported its findings today in PLoS Pathogens.

The scientists focused on mutations that could occur in the H7 hemagglutinin (HA) protein, which allows the virus to latch onto host cells. They didn't test the mutations in H7N9 viruses, because of gain-of-function rules and concerns. Rather, they used molecular modeling and knowledge of the HA structure to flag mutations that have the capacity to make the virus more specific to human, rather than avian, airway receptors. Then they produced an HA with different combinations of the mutations in an experimental cell line (not H7N9) and tested how strongly they bound to human and avian receptors.

The team found that mutations in three amino acids bound more strongly to human receptors, signaling a specificity switch from bird to human types. In another experiment, they found that the H7 mutants also attached to cells from human tracheal tissue.

The researchers concluded that understanding the mutations that might allow the virus to spread more easily in humans is a useful tool for surveillance in poultry and humans, as their identification may serve as an early warning.


http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2017/06/flu-scan-jun-15-2017 http://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1006390
Buy more ammo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2017 at 4:06pm
this pandemic is coming - and its going to be really bad
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