Pandemic influenza is a constant global threat to human health. In particular, the pandemic potential of novel avian influenza viruses such as the H10N7 and H10N8 avian strains, which recently managed to cross the species barrier from birds to humans, are always of great concern as we are unlikely to have any prior immunity. Human and avian isolates of H10 influenza display the ability to rapidly adapt to replication in mammalian hosts. Fortunately, so far there is no evidence of efficient human-to-human transmission of any avian influenza virus. This review examines all of the available clinical and biological data for H10 influenza viruses with an emphasis on hemagglutinin as it is a major viral antigen that determines host range and immunity. The available glycan binding data on the influenza H10 hemagglutinin are discussed in a structure-recognition perspective. Importantly, this review raises the question of whether the emerging novel avian H10 influenza viruses truly represents a threat to global health that warrants close monitoring.
- Glycan specificity