A large number of human genes associated with viral infections contain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which represent a genetic variation caused by the change of a single nucleotide in the DNA sequence. SNPs are located in coding or non-coding genomic regions and can affect gene expression or protein function by different mechanisms. Furthermore, they have been linked to multiple human diseases, highlighting their medical relevance. Therefore, the identification and analysis of this kind of polymorphisms in the human genome has gained high importance in the research community, and an increasing number of studies have been published during the last years. As a consequence of this exhaustive exploration, an association between the presence of some specific SNPs and the susceptibility or severity of many infectious diseases in some risk population groups has been found. In this review, we discuss the relevance of SNPs that are important to understand the pathology derived from influenza A virus (IAV) infections in humans and the susceptibility of some individuals to suffer more severe symptoms. We also discuss the importance of SNPs for IAV vaccine effectiveness.
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