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August 05, 2005

Influenza A H5N1 replication sites in humans.

Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Jul; 11(7): 1036-41
Uiprasertkul M, Puthavathana P, Sangsiriwut K, Pooruk P, Srisook K, Peiris M, Nicholls JM, Chokephaibulkit K, Vanprapar N, Auewarakul P

Tissue tropism and pathogenesis of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 disease in humans is not well defined. In mammalian experimental models, H5N1 influenza is a disseminated disease. However, limited previous data from human autopsies have not shown evidence of virus dissemination beyond the lung. We investigated a patient with fatal H5N1 influenza. Viral RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in lung, intestine, and spleen tissues, but positive-stranded viral RNA indicating virus replication was confined to the lung and intestine. Viral antigen was detected in pneumocytes by immunohistochemical tests. Tumor necrosis factor-? mRNA was seen in lung tissue. In contrast to disseminated infection documented in other mammals and birds, H5N1 viral replication in humans may be restricted to the lung and intestine, and the major site of H5N1 viral replication in the lung is the pneumocyte.

Posted by dymaxion at August 5, 2005 02:26 PM

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