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A Sum-up of the Research in Cross-species Infection and Animal-borne Viruses

Researchers headed by Prof. GAO Fu in Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) have accomplished a great deal in the project of cross-species infection and the pathogenic mechanism of animal-borne viruses, including bird flu virus and SARS virus (2005-2010).

The researchers first reported migratory birds infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in Qinghai Lake, and continued to trace and investigate the infection for 5 years. Furthermore, in the light of bird migration routes,they confirmed the impact of bird migration during bird flu transmission and provided important reference data for research on animal-borne infectious diseases. In addition, various animal models were employed to carry out exploratory research into the molecular mechanisms of the pathogenicity of H5N1 bird flu in avian and mammals. They also made several key findings including revealing a series of key amino acid sites and molecular markers associated with bird flu pathogenicity and transmission, proving that avian influenza virus could infect the fetus through placental barrier, and demonstrating the infection and replication of the virus in human intestinal tract.

Moreover, they discovered the genetical diversity of SARS-like coronavirus in bats, confirming that bats were a natural host of SARS-like coronavirus and detect coronavirus infections in ocelot and ferret badger in Southern China. The research group also carried out surveillance into the neogenesis and outbursts of infectious diseases,made a rapid response to streptococcus suis, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and swine influenza using established technology platforms and furthermore supplies important scientific knowledge for disease prevention.

The research group consists of elite researchers from IMCAS, Institute of Zoology, CAS, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Science, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences. The project is supported by National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China.

Representative publications:
1. Liu J#*, Xiao H#, Lei F#, Zhu Q, Qin K, Zhang XW, Zhang XL, Zhao D, Wang G, Feng Y, Ma J, Liu W, Wang J, George F. Gao*. Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus infection in migratory birds. Science, 2005, 309 (5738): 1206.(IF=29.747)
2. Wendong Li, Zhengli Shi*, Meng Yu, Wuze Ren, Craig Smith, Jonathan H. Epstein, Hanzhong Wang, Gary Crameri, Zhihong Hu, Huajun Zhang, Jianhong Zhang, Jennifer McEachern, Hume Field, Peter Daszak, Bryan T. Eaton, Shuyi Zhang* and Linfa Wang*. Bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. Science, 2005, 310(5748): 676-679.( IF =29.747)
3. Kou Z, Lei FM*, Yu, J, Fan ZJ, Yin ZH, Jia CX, Xiong KJ, Sun YH, Zhang XW, Wu XM, Gao XB, and Li TX*. New genotype avian influenza H5N1 viruses were isolated from tree sparrows in China. Journal of Virology, 2005, 79: 15460-15466. (IF= 5.15)
4. Tang J#*, Wang C#, Feng Y#, Yang W#, Song H#, Chen Z#, Yu H#, Pan X, Zhou X, Wang H, Wu B, Wang H, Zhao H, Lin Y, Yue J, Wu Z, He X, Gao F, Khan AH, Wang J, Zhao GP, Wang* Y, Wang* X, Chen Z, George F. Gao*. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome caused by Streptococcus suis serotype 2. PLoS Medicine, 2006, 3 (5): 668-676. (With short title in the front cover: Streptococcus suis outbreak in China) (IF=13.05)
5. Gu J#, Xie ZG#, Gao ZC#, Liu JH#, Korteweg C#, Ye JX, Lau LT, Lu J, Gao ZF, Zhang B, McNutt MA, Lu M, Anderson VM, Gong EC, Yu AC, Lipkin WI. H5N1 infection of the respiratory tract and beyond: a molecular pathology study. The Lancet. 2007, 370 (9593):1137-1145. (IF=30.758)
6. Zhi Zhou#, Xuejun Jiang#, Di Liu, Zheng Fan, Xudong Hu, Jinguo Yan, Ming Wang, George F. Gao*. Autophagy is involved in influenza A virus replication. Autophagy, 2009, 5 (3): 321-328. (IF=6.829)
7. Xiaoling Liu, Lei Sun, Maorong Yu, Zengfu Wang, Chongfeng Xu, Qinghua Xue, Ke Zhang, Xin Ye, Yoshihiro Kitamura, Wenjun Liu*. Cyclophilin A interacts with influenza A virus M1 protein and impairs the early stage of the viral replication. Cellular Microbiology, 2009, 11(5): 730-741. (IF=5.725)
8. Yuwei Gao, Ying Zhang, Kyoko Shinya, Guohua Deng, Yongping Jiang, Zejun Li, Yutao Guan, Guobin Tian, Yanbing Li, Jianzhong Shi, Liling Liu, Xianying Zeng, Zhigao Bu, Xianzhu Xia, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Hualan Chen*. Identification of Amino Acids in HA and PB2 Critical for the Transmission of H5N1 Avian Influenza Viruses in a Mammalian Host. PLoS Pathogens, 2009, 5(12): e1000709 (IF=9.125).
9. Shufang Fan, Yuwei Gao, Kyoko Shinya, Chris K-F. Li, Yanbing Li, Jianzhong Shi, Yongping Jiang, Yongbing Suo, Tiegang Tong, Gongxun Zhong, Jiasheng Song, Ying Zhang, Guobin Tian, Yuntao Guan, Xiaoning Xu, Zhigao Bu, Yoshihiro Kawaoka , Hualan Chen*. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a live attenuated H5N1 vaccine in nonhuman primates. PLoS Pathogens, 2009, 5(5), e1000409  (IF=9.125)
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