Structure and antigenicity of divergent Henipavirus fusion glycoproteins
© KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
Valuable information on the structure of a new virus and the body’s immune response to it could help pre-empt a future pandemic.
Viruses known as henipaviruses are fatal in 70% of cases. They usually infect bats, but occasionally they spillover to humans. Because of the risk they pose to human health, the World Health Organization has identified them as requiring urgent research.
In 2022, a novel henipavirus known as the Langya virus was found in patients in China suffering from a severe pneumonia-like condition.
Now, 13 scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia have determined the atomic structure of the fusion protein of the Langya virus.
They found that while the fusion protein’s structure is similar to that of another henipavirus, it induces a distinct immune response.
These findings will help find vaccines and drugs for the virus, the researchers say.
- Nature Communications 14, 3577 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39278-8
|The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia
|Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre (AID), Australia