Indexed on: 11 Jun '14Published on: 11 Jun '14Published in: Journal of medical microbiology
Influenza virus infections in humans remain a healthcare concern, and the need for vaccines, therapeutics and prophylactics remains a high priority. Understanding the molecular events associated with influenza-virus-induced pathology may lead to the identification of clinical disease biomarkers and novel antiviral targets. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are well-conserved endogenous non-coding RNAs known to regulate post-transcriptional gene expression as well as play a major role in many biological processes and pathways. Animal studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are involved in viral disease and controlling inflammation. In this study, we examined the differences in the miRNA expression profiles associated with the lung in mice infected with influenza viruses that varied in virulence and pathogenicity. A statistical model was employed that utilized changes in miRNA expression to identify the virus that was used to infect the mice. This study identified a unique fingerprint of viral pathogenicity associated with seasonal H1N1, swine H1N1 and highly pathogenic H5N1 in the mouse model, and may lead to the identification of novel therapeutic and prophylactic targets.