Application of a Biologically Contained Reporter System To Study Gain-of-Function H5N1 Influenza A Viruses with Pandemic Potential

Eva E. Spieler, Eva Moritz, Silke Stertz & Benjamin G. Hale
Natural adaptation of an antigenically novel avian influenza A virus (IAV) to be transmitted efficiently in humans has the potential to trigger a devastating pandemic. Understanding viral genetic determinants underlying adaptation is therefore critical for pandemic preparedness, as the knowledge gained enhances surveillance and eradication efforts, prepandemic vaccine design, and efficacy assessment of antivirals. However, this work has risks, as making gain-of-function substitutions in fully infectious IAVs may create a pathogen with pandemic potential. Thus,...
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