Characterization of glycan binding specificities of influenza B viruses with correlation with hemagglutinin genotypes and clinical features

Ya Fang Wang, Chuan Fa Chang, Chia Yu Chi, Hsuan Chen Wang, Jen Ren Wang, Ih Jen Su

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The carbohydrate binding specificities are different among avian and human influenza A viruses and may affect the tissue tropism and transmission of these viruses. The glycan binding biology for influenza B, however, has not been systematically characterized. Glycan binding specificities of influenza B viral isolates were analyzed and correlated to hemagglutinin (HA) genotypes and clinical manifestations. A newly developed solution glycan array was applied to characterize the receptor binding specificities of influenza B virus clinical isolates from 2001 to 2007 in Taiwan. Thirty oligosaccharides which include α-2,3 and α-2,6 linkage glycans were subjected to analysis. The glycan binding patterns of 53 influenza B isolates could be categorized into three groups and were well correlated to their HA genotypes. The Yamagata-like strains predominantly bound to α-2,6-linkage glycan (24:29, 83%) while Victoria-like strains preferentially bound to both α-2,3- and α-2,6-linkage glycans (13:24, 54%). A third group of viruses bound to sulfated glycans and these all belonged to Victoria-like strains. Based on the HA sequences, Asn-163, Glu-198, Ala-202, and Lys-203 were conserved among Victoria-like strains which may influence their carbohydrate recognition. The viruses bound to dual type glycans were more likely to be associated with the development of bronchopneumonia and gastrointestinal illness than those bound only to α-2,6 sialyl glycans (P<0.05). Glycan binding analyses provide additional information to monitor the antigenic shift, tissue tropism, and transmission capability of influenza B viruses, and will contribute to virus surveillance and vaccine strain selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-685
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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