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Professor Derek Smith


Evolutionary analysis of surveillance sequence data for patterns of  adaptation of avian influenza viruses to mammalian hosts.    To date, there are approximately four hundred influenza hemagglutinin  sequences and two hundred influenza PB2 sequences of A/H5N1 viruses  isolated from humans and other mammals. This project will compare the  sequences of these strains with their closest avian A/H5N1 strains  that were circulating at the same time and geographic region. This  comparison will potentially identify sequence adaptations that might  have been acquired within a human host, or were acquired within the  avian host and comprise a set of mutations that preferentially  infected or facilitated infection of the human host.   As well as  contributing to our basic understanding of cross-species transmission  of influenza viruses, this analysis will potentially inform targeted  influenza virus surveillance and identify substitutions of concern for  further experimental analysis.


  1. Michael Akam, Head of Zoology department  
  2. James Wood, Head of Vet School  
  3. Sharon Peacock, Professor, Department of Medicine

Professor Derek Smith

Professor Derek Smith
Department of Zoology
Office Phone: 01223 334872