facebook
twitter
search
search

Influenza B virus offers pandemic clues

Oct. 16, 2007 at 10:46 AM

HOUSTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say the structure of a protein on the influenza B virus offers clues about mutations that might result in a flu pandemic.

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University compared the protein, called hemagglutinin, with a similar protein found on the surface of the influenza A virus.

Assistant Professor Qinghua Wang , Associate Professor Jianpeng Ma, and colleagues said the comparison might be key to understanding the changes that must occur before avian flu -- a form of the influenza A virus -- mutates to a form that can easily infect humans, said Ma, who holds a joint appointment at Rice.

Ma and Wang have identified a particular residue or portion of the protein that might play a role in how different types of hemagglutinin bind to human cells.

The complex study is presented in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Scientists discover oldest Jesus lizard in Wyoming
Curiosity rover back to work, studying rock-layer contact zone
New forensics technique calculates exact time of death