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Ebola Virus explained

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A single amino acid change switches avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to human receptors

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Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the virus from avian to human receptors. Remember that switching of H5 HA to human receptor specificity is not sufficient to gain human to human transmissibility; what other changes are needed, in which genes and how many, is anyone's guess.
 
 

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