Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Novel Influenza A (H6N1) Virus That Infected a Person in Taiwan

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Novel Influenza A (H6N1) Virus That Infected a Person in Taiwan

Article excerpt

Dear Editor-in-Chief

Influenza A (H6N1) vims infection of domestic poultry and wild birds occurs worldwide (1-3), but there has been no report of a human A (H6N1) in- fection case before 2013. In May 2013, a 20-year-old female suffering from influenza-like symptoms and shortness of breath was admitted to a hospital in Taiwan, China. She was confirmed as being infected with a novel avian-originated influenza A (H6N1) vims by Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (4). The patient was fully recovered after receiving osel- tamivir.

In order to monitor further the novel human H6N1 isolate (designated as A/Taiwan/2/2013) and to assess the variability among related strains, we con- ducted phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analyses using reported sequence information of influenza A (H6N1) vimses isolated from multiple species. The genome sequences of A/Taiwan/2/2013 and other avian H6N1 strains were obtained from the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) database. A phylogenetic tree based on hemagglutinin (HA) gene sequences was gener- ated using the neighbor-joining method with the MEGA software (version 5.05). Phylogenetic analy- sis showed that the H6N1 strains were clustered into four distinct branches (Fig. 1). The novel human influenza A/Taiwan/2/2013 was genetically similar to vimses isolated from chickens in Taiwan, but dif- ferent from H6N1 isolates circulating in poultry in the rest regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Moreover, recent studies also demonstrated that all eight genes of the A/Taiwan/2/2013 isolate be- longed to the Taiwan lineage (4-5). Molecular char- acterization of the novel human influenza A/Taiwan/2/2013 showed that it lacked multiple basic amino acids at the HA cleavage site, and had the avian-signature Q226 (H3 numbering is used throughout) in the HA receptor binding site, and E627 in PB2 (Table 1). These results concisely clas- sify this H6N1 isolate as a putatively low-pathogenic avian-originated influenza vims. However, the hu- man influenza A (H6N1) vims has one P186L sub- stitution as compared with all the avian H6N1 strains, and E190V and G228S two substitutions as compared with all the H6N1 strains found outside of Taiwan in the HA receptor binding site (Table 1). These residue substitutions could increase the hy- drophobicity of the receptor-binding site, indicating that the vims might have high affinity binding to human oc2-6 linked sialic acid receptor (6). …

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