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Open access

I.M. Góra, W. Rożek and J.F. Żmudziński

Abstract

Influenza A viruses cause recurrent epidemics and global pandemics. One of the unique features of influenza virus is the ability to overcome interspecies barrier. Reassortment of viral genes and the accumulation of mutations contribute to the emergence of new influenza virus variants. The replication of influenza A virus in a specific host depends on many factors e.g. activity of viral proteins, host response system and environmental conditions. In this review the role of viral proteins as a condition for crossing the species barriers is discussed.

Open access

Małgorzata Kwaśnik, Ilona M. Góra, Jan F. Żmudziński, Jerzy Rola, Mirosław P. Polak and Wojciech Rożek

Abstract

Introduction

Traditionally, evolutionary analysis of equine influenza virus (EIV) is based on the HA gene. However, the specificity of the influenza virus enables the classification of viral strains into different phylogenetic groups, depending on the gene being analysed. The aim of the study was to analyse phylogenetic paths of EIV based on M gene with reference to the HA gene.

Material and Methods

M gene of Polish isolates has been sequenced and analysed along with all M sequences of EIV available in GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using BioEdit, ClustalW, and MEGA7 softwares.

Results

The clustering of the strains isolated not only from Asia but also from Europe into one common Asian-like group of EIV was observed. Twelve nucleotide substitutions in the M gene of strains from the Asian-like group were crucial for the evolutionary analysis. We also observed homology in the M gene of the Asian-like and H7N7 strains.

Conclusions

M gene specific for the Asian-like group is present in strains recently isolated in Europe and Asia, which were classified previously in the Florida 2 clade based on HA. Therefore, Asian-like group does not seem to be assigned to a specific geographical region. Traces of H7N7 strains in more conservative genes like M of some contemporary EIV strains may indicate the link between the old phylogenetic group and recent H3N8 strains. Analysis of conservative genes may be more useful in tracking the direction of virus evolution than in the genes where the high variability rate may blur the original relationships.