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