Host species barriers to influenza virus infections

Thijs Kuiken, Edward C. Holmes, John McCauley, Guus F. Rimmelzwaan, Catherine S. Williams, Bryan T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations


Most emerging infectious diseases in humans originate from animal reservoirs; to contain and eradicate these diseases we need to understand how and why some pathogens become capable of crossing host species barriers. Influenza virus illustrates the interaction of factors that limit the transmission and subsequent establishment of an infection in a novel host species. Influenza species barriers can be categorized into virus-host interactions occurring within individuals and host-host interactions, either within or between species, that affect transmission between individuals. Viral evolution can help surmount species barriers, principally by affecting virus-host interactions; however, evolving the capability for sustained transmission in a new host species represents a major adaptive challenge because the number of mutations required is often large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-397
Number of pages4
Issue number5772
StatePublished - Apr 21 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Host species barriers to influenza virus infections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this