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      Human Infection with a Novel Avian-Origin Influenza A (H7N9) Virus

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          Abstract

          New England Journal of Medicine, 368(20), 1888-1897

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          Most cited references 19

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          Receptor binding and membrane fusion in virus entry: the influenza hemagglutinin.

          Hemagglutinin (HA) is the receptor-binding and membrane fusion glycoprotein of influenza virus and the target for infectivity-neutralizing antibodies. The structures of three conformations of the ectodomain of the 1968 Hong Kong influenza virus HA have been determined by X-ray crystallography: the single-chain precursor, HA0; the metastable neutral-pH conformation found on virus, and the fusion pH-induced conformation. These structures provide a framework for designing and interpreting the results of experiments on the activity of HA in receptor binding, the generation of emerging and reemerging epidemics, and membrane fusion during viral entry. Structures of HA in complex with sialic acid receptor analogs, together with binding experiments, provide details of these low-affinity interactions in terms of the sialic acid substituents recognized and the HA residues involved in recognition. Neutralizing antibody-binding sites surround the receptor-binding pocket on the membrane-distal surface of HA, and the structures of the complexes between neutralizing monoclonal Fabs and HA indicate possible neutralization mechanisms. Cleavage of the biosynthetic precursor HA0 at a prominent loop in its structure primes HA for subsequent activation of membrane fusion at endosomal pH (Figure 1). Priming involves insertion of the fusion peptide into a charged pocket in the precursor; activation requires its extrusion towards the fusion target membrane, as the N terminus of a newly formed trimeric coiled coil, and repositioning of the C-terminal membrane anchor near the fusion peptide at the same end of a rod-shaped molecule. Comparison of this new HA conformation, which has been formed for membrane fusion, with the structures determined for other virus fusion glycoproteins suggests that these molecules are all in the fusion-activated conformation and that the juxtaposition of the membrane anchor and fusion peptide, a recurring feature, is involved in the fusion mechanism. Extension of these comparisons to the soluble N-ethyl-maleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein complex of vesicle fusion allows a similar conclusion.
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            Molecular basis for high virulence of Hong Kong H5N1 influenza A viruses.

             M Hatta (2001)
            In 1997, an H5N1 influenza A virus was transmitted from birds to humans in Hong Kong, killing 6 of the 18 people infected. When mice were infected with the human isolates, two virulence groups became apparent. Using reverse genetics, we showed that a mutation at position 627 in the PB2 protein influenced the outcome of infection in mice. Moreover, high cleavability of the hemagglutinin glycoprotein was an essential requirement for lethal infection.
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              Transmission of H7N7 avian influenza A virus to human beings during a large outbreak in commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands.

              An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus subtype H7N7 started at the end of February, 2003, in commercial poultry farms in the Netherlands. Although the risk of transmission of these viruses to humans was initially thought to be low, an outbreak investigation was launched to assess the extent of transmission of influenza A virus subtype H7N7 from chickens to humans. All workers in poultry farms, poultry farmers, and their families were asked to report signs of conjunctivitis or influenza-like illness. People with complaints were tested for influenza virus type A subtype H7 (A/H7) infection and completed a health questionnaire about type of symptoms, duration of illness, and possible exposures to infected poultry. 453 people had health complaints--349 reported conjunctivitis, 90 had influenza-like illness, and 67 had other complaints. We detected A/H7 in conjunctival samples from 78 (26.4%) people with conjunctivitis only, in five (9.4%) with influenza-like illness and conjunctivitis, in two (5.4%) with influenza-like illness only, and in four (6%) who reported other symptoms. Most positive samples had been collected within 5 days of symptom onset. A/H7 infection was confirmed in three contacts (of 83 tested), one of whom developed influenza-like illness. Six people had influenza A/H3N2 infection. After 19 people had been diagnosed with the infection, all workers received mandatory influenza virus vaccination and prophylactic treatment with oseltamivir. More than half (56%) of A/H7 infections reported here arose before the vaccination and treatment programme. We noted an unexpectedly high number of transmissions of avian influenza A virus subtype H7N7 to people directly involved in handling infected poultry, and we noted evidence for person-to-person transmission. Our data emphasise the importance of adequate surveillance, outbreak preparedness, and pandemic planning.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                2013
                16 May 2013
                08 May 2017
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMOA1304459
                23577628

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