Apr 4, 2020

Comprehensive single cell analysis of pandemic influenza A virus infection in the human airways uncovers cell-type specific host transcriptional signatures relevant for disease progression and pathogenesis.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
François MichonneauRonald Dijkman


Respiratory viruses, such as the 2009 pandemic strain of influenza A virus (IAV, H1N1pdm09), target cells found in the human respiratory epithelium. These cells, which form a pseudostratified epithelial layer along the airways, constitute the first line of defence against respiratory pathogens and play a crucial role in the host antiviral response. However, despite their key role in host defence, it remains unknown how distinct cell types in the respiratory epithelium respond to IAV infection and how these responses may contribute to IAV-induced pathogenesis and overall disease outcome. Here, we used single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to dissect the host response to IAV infection in its natural target cells. scRNA-seq was performed on human airway epithelial cell (hAEC) cultures infected with either wild-type pandemic IAV (WT) or with a mutant version of IAV (NS1R38A) that induced a robust innate immune response. We then characterized both the host and viral transcriptomes of more than 19,000 single cells across the 5 major cell types populating the human respiratory epithelium. For all cell types, we observed a wide spectrum of viral burden among single infected cells and a disparate host response between infected and byst...Continue Reading

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