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Institute of Medical Virology

Exploring the Role of Host Factors Required for Influenza Virus Entry in Zoonotic Infections

Entry Factors in Zoonotic Infections
Overview of entry receptors and receptor candidates for different influenza A viruses. From: Karakus, Pohl & Stertz, J Virol. 2020 Jan 31;94(4):e01357-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01357-19.

The second arm of our research aims to reveal the contributions of entry factors to zoonotic transmission of influenza viruses. Specifically, we study the entry process of the recently discovered bat influenza viruses. It was observed early on that these viruses do not use the canonical influenza virus receptor, sialic acid, and thus differ from all other strains of IAV. In our recent work, we have identified MHC-II as the crucial entry determinant of bat influenza viruses and found that MHC class II complexes from humans, mice, bats, pigs and chicken can confer susceptibility to bat influenza virus infection. In ongoing work, we aim to elucidate the interaction of bat IAV with MHC-II in more detail, map interaction motifs and visualize the bat IAV entry pathway.

Selected publications:

Karakus U, Thamamongood T, Ciminski K, et al., Nature, 2019

Karakus, Pohl, Stertz, J Virol., 2020