Virology News
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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like Led Zeppelin. And zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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A virus with a green thumb

A virus with a green thumb | Virology News | Scoop.it
I just love it when long standing mysteries in virology are suddenly solved, typically by the use of new technologies. In this story, the long standing mystery was why poxvirus mRNAs have a stretch of poly(A) in their 5′-noncoding regions. The answer is that it allows the ribosome to preferentially translate these viral mRNAs over those of the host
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The highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain from July 2012 in Mexico acquired an extended cleavage site through recombination with host 28S rRNA

The highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain from July 2012 in Mexico acquired an extended cleavage site through recombination with host 28S rRNA | Virology News | Scoop.it
A characteristic difference between highly and non-highly pathogenic avian influenza strains is the presence of an extended, often multibasic, cleavage motif insertion in the hemagglutinin protein.

Conclusions

This highly pathogenic H7N3 avian influenza strain acquired a novel extended cleavage site which likely originated from recombination with 28S rRNA from the avian host. Notably, this new virus can infect humans but currently lacks critical host receptor adaptations that would facilitate human to human transmission.

 

Avian influenza virus graphic courtesy of Russell Kightley Media

Ed Rybicki's insight:

This is rather sinister!  Not only can influenza viruses mutate, for antigenic drift, and reassort with one aother for antigenic shift - they can now recombine with HOST sequences to increase pathogenicity!

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