Special Issue "Host–Pathogen Interactions During Influenza Virus Infection"
A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).
Interests: RNA viruses; host-cell factors; lipid-rafts
Although feral ducks are proposed to be the natural reservoir of influenza A viruses, these viruses are also able to infect a wide variety of mammalian and avian species. However, each type of influenza A virus strain must adapt to its respective host, and this species specificity has led to a high degree of sequence variation within influenza A viruses. Over the past 100 years, there have been several major influenza A virus pandemics that have claimed millions of lives, and high levels of mortality are also associated with annual seasonal influenza A virus infections. In addition to impacts on human health, influenza A virus infection of domestic poultry can also have significant social and economic impacts. In many cases, the influenza A viruses infecting humans has originated in other animals prior to human adaptation. For example, it was previously proposed that avian viruses infect humans through an intermediate mammalian species, which allows the adaptation of the avian virus to a non-avian host. However, direct avian-to-human transmission can also occur, and depending on the virus strain involved, such episodes can be associated with high levels of mortality. Irrespective of the mechanism of transmission, the ability of an influenza A virus strain to” jump the species barrier” requires several adaptive mutations. Furthermore, additional adaptive mutations are required for the maintenance of the virus in its new host. These adaptive mutations can occur in a variety of different virus proteins, including those that form the virus polymerase complex, the virus spike proteins and the virus proteins that play a role in evading the innate immune response. It is presumed that many of these mutations lead to changes in the amino acid sequence of the virus proteins, and that these changes in protein structure promote a proviral state in the cell. These changes may facilitate either the interaction between specific virus proteins and essential host cell factors, or they may activate pro-viral cellular pathways and processes in the new host.
The influenza A virus strain that will give rise to the next global pandemic cannot be predicted. This problem is further exacerbated by the potential for newly emerged influenza virus strains to rapidly circulate around the world. An improved understanding of the biological properties of the viruses that are currently circulating in the natural environment should aid our ability to evaluate the threat that these viruses pose to human and animal health. In addition, this improved understanding should also allow the development of new antiviral strategies to counter the new pandemic strains that will emerge in the future. In this Special Issue, a series of articles have been collated that focus on understanding the interaction between the influenza viruses and the host that they infect.
Dr. Richard Sugrue
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- avian influenza virus
- influenza A virus
- host-cell interactions
- adaptive mutations
- seasonal influenza virus
- influenza virus pandemic