Electron microscopy image of influenza viruses budding from infected cells
© Lilo Greune/Institute of Infectiology, Uni MS

A1 Molecular determinants of species specificity and evolution of influenza viruses

PI: Prof. Dr. Stephan Ludwig
Research Group: Institute of Molecular Virology, Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE)
Co-PI: Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz
Doctoral students: Verónica Andrea Ferrando, Marcel Edgar Friedrich

Influenza is the paradigm of a viral disease in which continuous evolution of the virus leads to annual epidemics and occasional pandemics. Influenza viruses have a huge natural reservoir in birds, which provides an ineradicable pool of viral genes that contribute to the generation of novel human pathogenic virus strains. In the project we will analyze how host specific virus-cell interactions and adaptive mutations may contribute to the crossing of species barriers to eventually form new evolutionary lineages.