Possibility of cross-species/subtype reassortments in influenza A viruses: An analysis of nonstructural protein variations


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Abstract

The reassortment of genetic segments from different host species and from different subtypes of influenza A viruses occurs frequently, which may generate new strains causing flu epidemic or pandemic. However, the underlined mechanisms of reassortment were less addressed from the viewpoint of protein variations. Recently, we used the amino-acid pair predictability as an indicator to convert eight types of influenza A virus proteins into predictable portion of amino-acid pairs, and then applied the models I and II ANOVA to estimate their differences in terms of subtypes and host species. In order to get a full picture, 2729 and 1063 non-structural 1 and 2 proteins of influenza A viruses were analyzed in this study. The results are consistent with those obtained from hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, nucleoprotein, polymerase acidic protein, polymerase basic proteins 1 and 2, and matrix proteins 1 and 2, indicating that inter-species/subtypes variations are smaller than intra-species/subtype ones. Our findings provide statistical evidence that can partially explains why cross-subtype mutation and cross-species infection easily occur during co-infecting of different strains.

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