Targeted infection of endothelial cells by avian influenza virus A/FPV/Rostock/34 (H7N1) in chicken embryos.
ABSTRACT: The tissue tropism and spread of infection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus A/FPV/Rostock/34 (H7N1) (FPV) were analyzed in 11-day-old chicken embryos. As shown by in situ hybridization, the virus caused generalized infection that was strictly confined to endothelial cells in all organs. Studies with reassortants of FPV and the apathogenic avian strain A/chick/Germany/N/49 (H10N7) revealed that endotheliotropism was linked to FPV hemagglutinin (HA). To further analyze the factors determining endotheliotropism, the HA-activating protease furin was cloned from chicken tissue. Ubiquitous expression of furin and other proprotein convertases in the chick embryo indicated that proteolytic activation of HA was not responsible for restriction of infection to the endothelium. To determine the expression of virus receptors in embryonic tissues, histochemical analysis of alpha2,3- and alpha2,6-linked neuraminic acid was carried out by lectin-binding assays. These receptors were found on endothelial cells and on several epithelial cells, but not on tissues surrounding endothelia. Finally, we analyzed the polarity of virus maturation in endothelial cells. Studies on cultured human endothelial cells employing confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that HA is specifically targeted to the apical surface of these cells, and electron microscopy of embryonic tissues showed that virus maturation occurs also at the luminar side. Taken together, these observations indicate that endotheliotropism of FPV in the chicken embryo is determined, on one hand, by the high cleavability of HA, which mediates virus entry into the vascular system, and, on the other hand, by restricted receptor expression and polar budding, which prevent spread of infection into tissues surrounding endothelia.
Project description:Avian influenza virus H9N2 is prevalent in waterfowl and has become endemic in poultry in Asia and the Middle East. H9N2 influenza viruses have served as a reservoir of internal genes for other avian influenza viruses that infect humans, and several cases of human infection by H9N2 influenza viruses have indicated its pandemic potential. Fortunately, an extensive surveillance program enables close monitoring of H9N2 influenza viruses worldwide and has generated a large repository of virus sequences and phylogenetic information. Despite the large quantity of sequences in different databases, very little is known about specific virus isolates and their pathogenesis. Here, we characterize a low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus, A/chicken/Israel/810/2001 (H9N2) (Israel810), which is representative of influenza virus strains that have caused severe morbidity and mortality in poultry farms. We show that under certain circumstances the Israel810 hemagglutinin (HA) can be activated by furin, a hallmark of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. We demonstrate that Israel810 HA can be cleaved in cells with high levels of furin expression and that a mutation that eliminates a glycosylation site in HA(1) allows the Israel810 HA to gain universal cleavage in cell culture. Pseudoparticles generated from Israel810 HA, or the glycosylation mutant, transduce cells efficiently. In contrast, introduction of a polybasic cleavage site into Israel810 HA leads to pseudoviruses that are compromised for transduction. Our data indicate a mechanism for an H9N2 evolutionary pathway that may allow it to gain virulence in a distinct manner from H5 and H7 influenza viruses.
Project description:Avian influenza viruses (AIV) are classified into 16 hemagglutinin (HA; H1-H16) and 9 neuraminidase (NA; N1-N9) subtypes. All AIV are low pathogenic (LP) in birds, but subtypes H5 and H7 AIV can evolve into highly pathogenic (HP) forms. In the last two decades evolution of HPAIV H7 from LPAIV has been frequently reported. However, little is known about the pathogenesis and evolution of HP H7 from LP ancestors particularly, in non-chicken hosts. In 2015, both LP and HP H7N7 AIV were isolated from chickens in two neighbouring farms in Germany. Here, the virulence of these isogenic H7N7 LP, HP and LP virus carrying a polybasic HA cleavage site (HACS) from HP (designated LP-Poly) was studied in chickens, turkeys and different duck breeds. The LP precursor was avirulent in all birds. In contrast, all inoculated and contact chickens and turkeys died after infection with HP. HP infected Pekin and Mallard ducks remained clinically healthy, while Muscovy ducks exhibited moderate depression and excreted viruses at significantly higher amounts. The polybasic HACS increased virulence in a species-specific manner with intravenous pathogenicity indices of 3.0, 1.9 and 0.2 in chickens, turkeys and Muscovy ducks, respectively. Infection of endothelial cells was only observed in chickens. In summary, Pekin and Mallard were more resistant to HPAIV H7N7 than chickens, turkeys and Muscovy ducks. The polybasic HACS was the main determinant for virulence and endotheliotropism of HPAIV H7N7 in chickens, whereas other viral and/or host factors play an essential role in virulence and pathogenesis in turkeys and ducks.
Project description:Attachment of palmitic acid to cysteine residues is a common modification of viral glycoproteins. The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) has three conserved cysteine residues at its C terminus serving as acylation sites. To analyze the structural and functional roles of acylation, we have generated by reverse genetics a series of mutants (Ac1, Ac2, and Ac3) of fowl plague virus (FPV) containing HA in which the acylation sites at positions 551, 559, and 562, respectively, have been abolished. When virus growth in CV1 and MDCK cells was analyzed, similar amounts of virus particles were observed with the mutants and the wild type. Protein patterns and lipid compositions, characterized by high cholesterol and glycolipid contents, were also indistinguishable. However, compared to wild-type virus, Ac2 and Ac3 virions were 10 and almost 1,000 times less infectious, respectively. Fluorescence transfer experiments revealed that loss of acyl chains impeded formation of fusion pores, whereas hemifusion was not affected. When the affinity to detergent-insoluble glycolipid (DIG) domains was analyzed by Triton X-100 treatment of infected cells and virions, solubilization of Ac2 and Ac3 HAs was markedly facilitated. These observations show that acylation of the cytoplasmic tail, while not necessary for targeting to DIG domains, promotes the firm anchoring and retention of FPV HA in these domains. They also indicate that tight DIG association of FPV HA is essential for formation of fusion pores and thus probably for infectivity.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of subtypes H5 and H7 have caused numerous outbreaks in diverse poultry species and rising numbers of human infections. Both HPAIV subtypes support a growing concern of a pandemic outbreak, specifically via the avian-human link. Natural reassortment of both HPAIV subtypes is a possible event with unpredictable outcome for virulence and host specificity of the progeny virus for avian and mammalian species. NS reassortment of H5N1 HPAIV viruses in the background of A/FPV/Rostock/1934 (H7N1) HPAIV has been shown to change virus replication kinetics and host cell responses in mammalian cells. However, not much is known about the virus-host interaction of such viruses in avian species. In the present study, we show that the NS segment of A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (FPV NS VN, H5N1) HPAIV significantly altered the characteristics of the H7 prototype HPAIV in tracheal organ cultures (TOC) of chicken and turkey in vitro, with decreased replication efficiency accompanied by increased induction of type I interferon (IFN) and apoptosis. Furthermore, species-specific differences between chicken and turkey were demonstrated. Interestingly, NS-reassortant FPV NS VN showed an overall highly pathogenic phenotype, with increased virulence and replication potential compared to the wild-type virus after systemic infection of chicken and turkey embryos. Our data demonstrate that single reassortment of an H5-type NS into an H7-type HPAIV significantly changed virus replication abilities and influenced the avian host cell response without prior adaptation.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) H5N1 can infect mammals via the intestine; this is unusual since influenza viruses typically infect mammals via the respiratory tract. The dissemination of HPAIV H5N1 following intestinal entry and associated pathogenesis are largely unknown. To assess the route of spread of HPAIV H5N1 to other organs and to determine its associated pathogenesis, we inoculated infected chicken liver homogenate directly into the intestine of cats by use of enteric-coated capsules. Intestinal inoculation of HPAIV H5N1 resulted in fatal systemic disease. The spread of HPAIV H5N1 from the lumen of the intestine to other organs took place via the blood and lymphatic vascular systems but not via neuronal transmission. Remarkably, the systemic spread of the virus via the vascular system was associated with massive infection of endothelial and lymphendothelial cells, resulting in widespread hemorrhages. This is unique for influenza in mammals and resembles the pathogenesis of HPAIV infection in terrestrial poultry. It contrasts with the pathogenesis of systemic disease from the same virus following entry via the respiratory tract, where lesions are characterized mainly by necrosis and inflammation and are associated with the presence of influenza virus antigen in parenchymal, not endothelial cells. The marked endotheliotropism of the virus following intestinal inoculation indicates that the pathogenesis of systemic influenza virus infection in mammals may differ according to the portal of entry.
Project description:Previous studies revealed that certain avian influenza A viruses (IAVs), including zoonotic H5N1 and H7N9 IAVs, infect cultured human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HULEC) more efficiently than other IAVs and that tropism to HULEC is determined by viral hemagglutinin (HA). To characterize mechanisms of HA-mediated endotheliotropism, we used 2:6 recombinant IAVs harboring HAs from distinctive avian and human viruses and found that efficient infection of HULEC correlated with low conformational stability of the HA. We next studied effects on viral infectivity of single-point amino acid substitutions in the HA of 2:6 recombinant virus A/Vietnam/1203/2004-PR8 (H5N1). Substitutions H8Q, H103Y, T315I, and K582I (K58I in the HA2 subunit), which increased stability of the HA, markedly reduced viral infectivity for HULEC, whereas substitutions K189N and K218Q, which altered typical H5N1 virus-like receptor specificity and reduced binding avidity of the HA, led to only marginal reduction of infectivity. None of these substitutions affected virus infection in MDCK cells. We confirmed the previous observation of elevated basal expression of IFITM3 protein in HULEC and found that endosomal acidification is less efficient in HULEC than in MDCK cells. In accord with these findings, counteraction of IFITM3-mediated restriction by amphotericin B and reduction of endosomal pH by moderate acidification of the extracellular medium enhanced infectivity of viruses with stable HA for HULEC without significant effect on infectivity for MDCK cells. Collectively, our results indicate that relatively high pH optimum of fusion of the HA of zoonotic H5N1 and H7N9 IAVs allows them to overcome antiviral effects of inefficient endosomal acidification and IFITM3 in human endothelial cells.IMPORTANCE Receptor specificity of the HA of IAVs is known to be a critical determinant of viral cell tropism. Here, we show that fusion properties of the HA may also play a key role in the tropism. Thus, we demonstrate that IAVs having a relatively low pH optimum of fusion cannot efficiently infect human endothelial cells owing to their relatively high endosomal pH and increased expression of fusion-inhibiting IFITM3 protein. These restrictions can be overcome by IAVs with elevated pH of fusion, such as zoonotic H5N1 and H7N9. Our results illustrate that the infectivity of IAVs depends on an interplay between HA conformational stability, endosomal acidification and IFITM3 expression in target cells, and the extracellular pH. Given significant variation of levels of HA stability among animal, human, and zoonotic IAVs, our findings prompt further studies on the fusion-dependent tropism of IAVs to different cell types in humans and its role in viral host range and pathogenicity.
Project description:A reassortant avian influenza virus (designated FPV NS GD), carrying the NS-segment of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) strain A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96 (GD; H5N1) in the genetic background of the HPAIV strain A/FPV/Rostock/34 (FPV; H7N1), was rescued by reverse genetics. Remarkably, in contrast to the recombinant wild-type FPV (rFPV), the reassortant virus was able to replicate more efficiently in different human cell lines and primary mouse epithelia cells without prior adaptation. Moreover, FPV NS GD caused disease and death in experimentally infected mice and was detected in mouse lungs; in contrast, rFPV was not able to replicate in mice effectively. These results indicated an altered host range and increased virulence. Furthermore FPV NS GD showed pronounced pathogenicity in chicken embryos. In an attempt to define the molecular basis for the apparent differences, we determined that NS1 proteins of the H5N1 and H7N1 strains bound the antiviral kinase PKR and the F2F3 domain of cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor 30 (CPSF30) with comparable efficiencies in vitro. However, FPV NS GD infection resulted in (i) increased expression of NS1, (ii) faster and stronger PKR inhibition, and (iii) stronger beta interferon promoter inhibition than rFPV. Taken together, the results shed further light on the importance of the NS segment of an H5N1 strain for viral replication, molecular pathogenicity, and host range of HPAIVs and the possible consequences of a reassortment between naturally occurring H7 and H5 type HPAIVs.
Project description:Fowlpox (FP) is a serious disease in chickens caused by Fowlpox virus (FPV). One method currently used to control FPV is vaccination followed by confirmation that antibody titres are protective using the indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA). The direct haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay is not done because most FPV strains do not agglutinate chicken red blood cells (RBCs). A novel FPV strain TPV-1 which agglutinates chicken RBCs was discovered recently and enabled a direct HI assay to be conducted using homologous sera. This study is therefore aimed at assessing the direct HI assay using a recently discovered novel haemagglutinating FPV strain TPV-1 in chickens vaccinated with a commercial vaccine containing a non-haemagglutinating FPV.Chicks vaccinated with FPV at 1 day-old had antibody geometric mean titres (GMT) of log2 3.7 at 7 days after vaccination and log2 8.0 at 28 days after vaccination when tested in the direct HI. Chickens vaccinated at 6 weeks-old had antibody geometric mean titres (GMT) of log2 5.0 at 7 days after vaccination and log2 8.4 at 28 days after vaccination when tested in the direct HI. The GMT recorded 28 days after vaccination was slightly higher in chickens vaccinated at 6-week-old than in chicks vaccinated at one-day-old. However, this difference was not significant (P > 0.05). All vaccinated chickens showed "takes". No antibody response to FPV and "takes" were detected in unvaccinated chickens (GMT < 1). There was a slightly higher GMT in chickens of all ages throughout the observation period when the standard assay, the passive (indirect) haemagglutination was used (Overall GMT reached log2 9.3 ±.0.3 on day 28). However, the difference between the two assays was not significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion:These findings indicate that a simple and rapid direct HI assay using the FPV TPV-1 strain as antigen may be used to measure antibody levels in chickens vaccinated with non-haemagglutinating strains of FPV, and that the titres are comparable to those obtained by indirect IHA.
Project description:Influenza A viruses of the subtype H9N2 circulate worldwide and have become highly prevalent in poultry in many countries. Moreover, they are occasionally transmitted to humans, raising concern about their pandemic potential. Influenza virus infectivity requires cleavage of the surface glycoprotein hemagglutinin (HA) at a distinct cleavage site by host cell proteases. H9N2 viruses vary remarkably in the amino acid sequence at the cleavage site, and many isolates from Asia and the Middle East possess the multibasic motifs R-S-S-R and R-S-R-R, but are not activated by furin. Here, we investigated proteolytic activation of the early H9N2 isolate A/turkey/Wisconsin/1/66 (H9-Wisc) and two recent Asian isolates, A/quail/Shantou/782/00 (H9-782) and A/quail/Shantou/2061/00 (H9-2061), containing mono-, di-, and tribasic HA cleavage sites, respectively. All H9N2 isolates were activated by human proteases TMPRSS2 (transmembrane protease, serine S1 member 2) and HAT (human airway trypsin-like protease). Interestingly, H9-782 and H9-2061 were also activated by matriptase, a protease widely expressed in most epithelia with high expression levels in the kidney. Nephrotropism of H9N2 viruses has been observed in chickens, and here we found that H9-782 and H9-2061 were proteolytically activated in canine kidney (MDCK-II) and chicken embryo kidney (CEK) cells, whereas H9-Wisc was not. Virus activation was inhibited by peptide-mimetic inhibitors of matriptase, strongly suggesting that matriptase is responsible for HA cleavage in these kidney cells. Our data demonstrate that H9N2 viruses with R-S-S-R or R-S-R-R cleavage sites are activated by matriptase in addition to HAT and TMPRSS2 and, therefore, can be activated in a wide range of tissues what may affect virus spread, tissue tropism and pathogenicity.
Project description:Feline panleukopenia, caused by feline parvovirus (FPV), is a highly infectious disease characterized by leucopenia and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis that severely affects the health of large wild Felidae. In this study, tiger FPV virus-like particles (VLPs) were developed using the baculovirus expression system. The VP2 gene from an infected Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) was used as the target gene. The key amino acids of this gene were the same as those of FPV, whereas the 101st amino acid was the same as that of canine parvovirus. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) results demonstrated that the VP2 protein was successfully expressed. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting (WB) results showed that the target protein band was present at approximately 65 kDa. Electron micrograph analyses indicated that the tiger FPV VLPs were successfully assembled and were morphologically similar to natural parvovirus particles. The hemagglutination (HA) titer of the tiger FPV VLPs was as high as 1:218. The necropsy and tissue sections at the cat injection site suggested that the tiger FPV VLPs vaccine was safe. Antibody production was induced in cats after subcutaneous immunization, with a >1:210 hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titer that persisted for at least 12 months. These results demonstrate that tiger FPV VLPs might provide a vaccine to prevent FPV-associated disease in the tiger.