H7N9 influenza viruses interact preferentially with α2,3-linked sialic acids and bind weakly to α2,6-linked sialic acids

Irene Ramos, Florian Krammer, Rong Hai, Domingo Aguilera, Dabeiba Bernal-Rubio, John Steel, Adolfo García-Sastre, Ana Fernandez-Sesma

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57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recent human outbreak of H7N9 avian influenza A virus has caused worldwide concerns. Receptor binding specificity is critical for viral pathogenicity, and still not thoroughly studied for this emerging virus. Here, we evaluated the receptor specificity of the haemagglutinin (HA) of two human H7N9 isolates (A/Shanghai/1/13 and A/Anhui/1/13) through a solid-phase binding assay and a flow cytometry-based assay. In addition, we compared it with those from several HAs from human and avian influenza viruses. We observed that the HAs from the novel H7 isolates strongly interacted with α2,3-linked sialic acids. Importantly, they also showed low levels of binding to α2,6-linked sialic acids, but significantly higher than other avian H7s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2417-2423
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume94
Issue numberPART 11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

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