Glycomic Analysis of Human Respiratory Tract Tissues and Correlation with Influenza Virus Infection

Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.
PLoS Pathogens (Impact Factor: 7.56). 03/2013; 9(3):e1003223. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003223
Source: PubMed


Author Summary
This study was performed to determine what possible glycan receptors for influenza were present in the human respiratory tract. We compared the glycans present on existing published glycan arrays with the actual glycans identified in the human respiratory tract by mass spectrometric analysis to determine how representative these arrays would be for potential binding. The most comprehensive array to date only contained approximately half the range of the actual glycans present. Over the past 5 years we have performed ex-vivo infection of 113 bronchial and 185 lung samples with seasonal, avian and swine influenza viruses, and have demonstrated that the lung is able to be infected by all types of influenza viruses but that the bronchus can also be infected by a limited range of avian, swine and seasonal viruses. The key findings are that there is wide spectrum of glycans present in the respiratory tract which can be used by influenza viruses for infection, and the currently available arrays are not predictive of successful infection. Our findings will be of use for researchers in developing more comprehensive and focused arrays for the screening of emerging influenza viruses and bacteria in order to determine their potential threat to humans.

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