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Whole transcriptome analysis reveals differential gene expression profile reflecting

macrophage polarization in response to influenza A H5N1 virus infection

Dr Suki Lee, principal investigator at HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, and her collaborators at University of Toronto and The Centre for Applied Genomics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada and University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA have recently published a work in BMC Medical Genomics and described the earliest molecular events in influenza virus infected human macrophages using RNA-Seq.

Their data revealed that the two macrophage populations named M1 (classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated) macrophage subtypes respond distinctly to influenza A virus infection, while the dysregulated gene expression in response to the infection by highly pathogenic avian H5N1 virus occurs specifically in M1 subtype.

This study provides important mechanistic insights into the understanding of influenza viral pathogenesis and the multi-faceted host immune responses elicited by H5N1 virus infection and suggests potential candidates as therapeutic targets for treating influenza disease.


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