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Sialic acid receptors: focus on their role in influenza infection

Authors Ayora-Talavera G

Received 30 December 2017

Accepted for publication 21 February 2018

Published 10 April 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 1—11

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JRLCR.S140624

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Trevor W. Stone


Guadalupe Ayora-Talavera

Virology Laboratory, Center of Regional Research Dr Hideyo Noguchi, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Abstract: Receptor-binding specificity is a major determinant of host range, pathogenesis, and interspecies transmission in influenza virus. Recognition of different conformations of sialic acid by the influenza virus hemagglutinin has driven influenza intra- and interspecies transmission for nearly 100 years since the first human pandemic was recorded in 1918. Key amino acid residues near or at the receptor-binding site of the hemagglutinin of different influenza A subtypes correlate with the ability of the virus to infect and replicate in the upper or lower respiratory tract of the host and transmit efficiently. A global concern exists for those highly pathogenic avian viruses that have emerged with the potential to cause a novel pandemic in humans. Studying the receptor-binding affinity to sialic acid receptors as a marker of pandemic risk could provide reliable measures to aid in timely pandemic planning and surveillance worldwide.

Keywords: influenza A, sialic acid, receptor binding, host range

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