Research Topic

Ecological Change as A Driver for Evolution of Animal Influenza Viruses: Genetic variation, Adaptation, Cross-species transmission, and Host Immunity

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About this Research Topic

Influenza A virus (IAV) is a negative-sense, single-stranded, eight gene-segmented RNA virus, which is prone to antigenic shift or drift. IAV is an important zoonotic pathogen with worldwide distribution and broad spectrum of hosts, which is particularly challenging to domestic bird and human health. IAVs ...

Influenza A virus (IAV) is a negative-sense, single-stranded, eight gene-segmented RNA virus, which is prone to antigenic shift or drift. IAV is an important zoonotic pathogen with worldwide distribution and broad spectrum of hosts, which is particularly challenging to domestic bird and human health. IAVs (H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2) have caused four influenza pandemics since 1918 and an unprecedented number of deaths. In the last two decades, H5Nx and H7N9 IAVs have infected more than 2000 individuals with an overall case fatality rate of over 40% worldwide. More recently, human population growth, climate change, economic globalization, land use, and new vaccine biotechnology have altered outcomes of IAV infection and host immunity in practice, and further drive the evolution, adaptation, and cross-species transmission of IAVs.

Therefore, we are in urgent need of better understanding of updated impacts caused by the ecological changes from influenza virus, host and environment. Scientific questions to be answered in this Research Topic may include 1) dynamics of recombinant IAVs by different subtypes driven by multiple selective pressures; 2) ecological and evolutionary determinants of IAV transmissibility and pathogenicity in birds and humans; 3) virus-host commensalism fine-tuned by virus adaptation and host immune regulation; 4) risk assessment or prediction on impacts caused by IAVs and ecosystems.

This Research Topic welcomes Original Research and Reviews regarding the following questions but not limited to:
• The evolution and variation of IAVs
• Cross-species transmission and pathogenesis
• Immune evasion and antiviral response
• Modeling and risk assessment of potential influenza pandemics


Keywords: Influenza virus, Ecology, Evolution


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