Though current vaccines reduce the impact of influenza, IAV remains a major human pathogen with an enormous global and domestic impact, causing 30,000 deaths and economic costs totaling tens of billions dollars each year in the USA. Despite its remarkable impact on public health, we have only a limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying viral pathogenesis and its ability to evade the immune response. In this project we are studying a number of aspects of the interaction between IAV and the host. Most of studies utilize the mouse model of infection. Our interests include understanding selection of antigenic variants in vivo, host-pathogen interactions in regulating anti-viral immunity, and the role of influenza proteins in viral pathogenesis. Our current studies have been aimed at understanding the evolution of influenza virus transmissibility. The studies in 2013 have provided insight into genetic determinants in NP and M1 involved in IAV adaptation to transmit in a new host and show the benefit of a segmented genome in IAV evolution.

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Magadán, Javier G; Altman, Meghan O; Ince, William L et al. (2014) Biogenesis of influenza a virus hemagglutinin cross-protective stem epitopes. PLoS Pathog 10:e1004204
Whittle, James R R; Wheatley, Adam K; Wu, Lan et al. (2014) Flow cytometry reveals that H5N1 vaccination elicits cross-reactive stem-directed antibodies from multiple Ig heavy-chain lineages. J Virol 88:4047-57
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