Avian Influenza The Virus

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery September 30, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

"H1N1 navbox" by Cybercobra at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons"H1N1 navbox" by Cybercobra at en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Avian Influenza viruses are named according to the nature of two groups of proteins found on their surface - hemagglutinin(H) and neuraminidase (N). Hemagglutinin proteins are responsible for binding the virus to the cell that is being infected. Neuraminidase proteins aid in getting the virus into a host cell. There are 16 hemagglutinin and 9 neuraminidase types of proteins that can make up an avian influenza virus, giving rise to 144 possible combinations. For example, an H5N1 virus designates an avian influenza virus subtype that has an H5 protein and an N1 protein. All combinations of proteins may be found in wild aquatic birds, while H1, H2 and H3 have been circulating on and off in the human population for at least a century.



Avian Influenza Homepage

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.