Recombinant Marek's Disease Virus as a Vector-Based Vaccine against Avian Leukosis Virus Subgroup J in Chicken.
ABSTRACT: Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is an immunosuppressive virus that causes considerable economic losses to the chicken industry in China. However, there is currently no effective vaccine to prevent ALV-J infection. In order to reduce the losses caused by ALV-J, we constructed two effective ALV-J vaccines by inserting the ALV-J (strain JL093-1) env or gag+env genes into the US2 gene of the Marek's disease herpesviruses (MDV) by transfection of overlapping fosmid DNAs, creating two recombinant MDVs, rMDV/ALV-gag+env and rMDV/ALV-env. Analysis of cultured chicken embryo fibroblasts infected with the rMDVs revealed that Env and Gag were successfully expressed and that there was no difference in growth kinetics in cells infected with rMDVs compared with that of cells infected with the parent MDV. Chickens vaccinated with either rMDV revealed that positive serum antibodies were induced. Both rMDVs also effectively reduced the rate of positive viremia in chicken flocks challenged with ALV-J. The protective effect provided by rMDV/ALV-env inoculation was slightly stronger than that provided by rMDV/ALV-gag+env. This represents the first study where a potential rMDV vaccine, expressing ALV-J antigenic genes, has been shown to be effective in the prevention of ALV-J. Our study also opens new avenues for the control of MDV and ALV-J co-infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In China, although the ALV eradication program and the MD vaccination strategy greatly reduce the disease burdens caused by the infection of ALV and MDV, the frequent emergence of novel ALV-K or vvMDV in the vaccinated chicken flock challenges the current control strategies for both diseases. RESULTS:In Guangdong Province, an indigenous chicken flock was infected with neoplastic disease. Hematoxylin-eosin staining of the tissues showed the typical characteristics of MDV and classical ALV infection. The PCR and sequencing data demonstrated that the identified MDV was clustered into a very virulent MDV strain endemic in domestic chickens in China. Moreover, subgroups ALV-A and ALV-K were efficiently recovered from two samples. The full genome sequence revealed that the ALV-K isolate was phylogenetically close to the ALV TW3593 isolate from Taiwan Province. CONCLUSIONS:A co-infection of vvMDV with multiple ALV subgroups emerged in a chicken flock with neoplastic disease in Guangdong Province. The co-infection with different subgroups of ALV with vvMDV in one chicken flock poses the risk for the emergence of novel ALVs and heavily burdens the control strategy for MDV.
Project description:Avian leukosis virus (ALV) subgroup J is thought to have emerged through a recombination event between an unknown exogenous ALV and the endogenous retrovirus elements designated EAV-HP. All EAV-HP elements identified to date in the chicken genome show large deletions, including that of the entire pol gene. Here we report the identification of four segregating chicken EAV-HP proviruses with complete pol genes, one of which shows exceptionally high sequence identity and a close phylogenetic relationship with ALV-J with respect to the env gene. Embryonic expression of EAV-HP env has been suggested as a factor associated with immunological tolerance induction in a proportion of ALV-J-infected meat-type chickens. In support of this, env gene transcripts expressed from two of the four newly identified EAV-HP proviruses were demonstrated in chicken embryos. However, when ALV-J-infected outbred meat-type chickens were assessed, the presence of intact EAV-HP proviruses failed to directly correlate with ALV-J tolerance. This association was further examined using F(2) progeny of two inbred lines of layer chicken that differed in EAV-HP status and immunological responses to ALV-J. Immunological tolerance developed in a small proportion of F(2) progeny birds, reflecting the expected phenotypic ratio for inheritance of a double-recessive genotype; however, the status of tolerance did not show any direct correlation with the presence of the intact EAV-HP sequence. Nevertheless, identification of an intact chicken EAV-HP locus showing a uniquely close relationship to the ALV-J prototype clone HPRS-103 in the env region provides the strongest evidence of its contribution to the emergence of ALV-J by recombination.
Project description:In recent years, cases of avian leukosis virus (ALV) infection have become more frequent in China. We isolated 6 ALV strains from yellow feather broiler breeders in south China from 2014 to 2016. Their full genomes were sequenced, compared, and analyzed with other reference strains of ALV. The complete genomic nucleotide sequences of GD150509, GD160403, GD160607, GDFX0601, and GDFX0602 were 7482 bp in length, whereas GDFX0603 was 7480 bp. They shared 99.7% to 99.8% identity with each other. Homology analysis showed that the gag, pol, long terminal repeats (LTRs), and the transmembrane region (gp37) of the env genes of the 6 viruses were well conserved to endogenous counterpart sequences (>97.8%). However, the gp85 genes displayed high variability with any known chicken ALV strains. Growth kinetics of DF-1 cells infected with the isolated ALV showed viral titers that were lower than those infected with the GD13 (ALV-A), CD08 (ALV-B), and CHN06 (ALV-J) on day 7 post-infection. The infected Specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens could produce continuous viremia, atrophy of immune organs, growth retardation and no tumors were observed. These subgroup ALVs are unique and may be common in south China. The results suggested that updating the control and eradication program of exogenous ALV for yellow feather broiler breeders in south China needs to be considered because of the emergence of the new subgroup viruses.
Project description:During the process of transmission and spread of avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) in chickens worldwide, the viral genome is constantly changing. A comprehensive and systematic study of the evolutionary process of ALV-J in China is needed. In this study, we amplified the full-length viral cDNA sequences of 16 ALV-J isolates of Yellow-chicken origin and analyzed and compared these sequences with another 69 ALV-J strains isolated during the years 1988-2018. These isolates were then sorted into 2 clusters: cluster I included isolates that mainly originated from the layers and White-feather broilers from northern China; cluster II included isolates mainly from the Yellow-chicken, most of them being from southern China. According to the sequence homologies of the whole genome and gag, pol, gp85, and gp37 genes, the ALV-J strains are more likely to randomly change in different directions from the original strain HPRS-103 as time passes. The results of entropy analysis of the sequences of gag, pol, and env revealed that the env gene had the largest variation, and the gag gene nonconserved sites are mainly concentrated in p19, p10, and p12. In addition, 84.71% (72/85) of the isolates had the 205-nucleotide (nt) deletion in the 3'UTR region, and 30.59% (26/85) of the isolates had the 125-nt to 127-nt deletion in the E element. Our study provides evidence for the coexistence of 2 extremely different clusters of ALV-J prevailing in China and in some other countries during the period of 1988-2018 and implies that the clusters are highly dependent on the host genetic background and the geographic location.
Project description:The existence of novel endogenous retrovirus elements in the chicken genome, designated EAV-HP, with close sequence identity to the env gene of avian leukosis virus (ALV) subgroup J has been reported (L. M. Smith, A. A. Toye, K. Howes, N. Bumstead, L. N. Payne, and K. Venugopal, J. Gen. Virol. 80:261-268, 1999). To resolve the genome structure of these retroviral elements, we have determined the complete sequence of two proviral clones of EAV-HP from a line N chicken genomic DNA yeast artificial chromosome library and from a meat-type chicken line 21 lambda library. The EAV-HP sequences from the two lines were 98% identical and had a typical provirus structure. The two EAV-HP clones showed identical large deletions spanning part of the gag, the entire pol, and part of the env genes. The env region of the EAV-HP clones was 97% identical to the env sequence of HPRS-103, the prototype subgroup J ALV. The 5' region of EAV-HP comprising the R and U5 regions of the long terminal repeat (LTR), the untranslated leader, and the 5' end of the putative gag region were 97% identical to the avian retrotransposon sequence, ART-CH. The remaining gag sequence shared less than 60% identity with other ALV sequences. The U3 region of the LTR was distinct from those of other retroviruses but contained some of the conserved motifs required for functioning as a promoter. To examine the ability of this endogenous retroviral LTR to function as a transcriptional promoter, the EAV-HP and HPRS-103 LTR U3 regions were compared in a luciferase reporter gene assay. The low luciferase activity detected with the EAV-HP LTR U3 constructs, at levels close to those observed for a control vector lacking the promoter or enhancer elements, suggested that these elements function as a weak promoter, possibly accounting for their low expression levels in chicken embryos.
Project description:Reverse transcriptase (RT) activity has been detected recently in all chicken cell-derived measles and mumps vaccines. A study of a vaccine manufactured in Europe indicated that the RT is associated with particles containing endogenous avian retrovirus (EAV-0) RNA and originates from the chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) used as a substrate for propagation of the vaccine. We investigated the origin of RT in measles and mumps vaccines from a U.S. manufacturer and confirm the presence of RT and EAV RNA. Additionally, we provide new evidence for the presence of avian leukosis virus (ALV) in both CEF supernatants and vaccines. ALV pol sequences were first identified in particle-associated RNA by amplification with degenerate retroviral pol primers. ALV RNA sequences from both the gag and env regions were also detected. Analysis of hypervariable region 2 of env revealed a subgroup E sequence, an endogenous-type ALV. Both CEF- and vaccine-derived RT activity could be blocked by antibodies to ALV RT. Release of ALV-like virus particles from uninoculated CEF was also documented by electron microscopy. Nonetheless, infectivity studies on susceptible 15B1 chicken cells gave no evidence of infectious ALV, which is consistent with the phenotypes of the ev loci identified in the CEF. PCR analysis of ALV and EAV proviral sequences in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 33 children after measles and mumps vaccination yielded negative results. Our data indicate that the sources of RT activity in all RT-positive measles and mumps vaccines may not be similar and depend on the particular endogenous retroviral loci present in the chicken cell substrate used. The present data do not support transmission of either ALV or EAV to recipients of the U.S.-made vaccine and provide reassurance for current immunization policies.
Project description:Avian oncogenic viruses include Marek's disease virus (MDV), a highly contagious herpesvirus, as well as retroviruses such as avian leukosis virus (ALV) subgroups A to J and reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV). In this study, we examined the incidence of these viruses in suspected samples collected from poultry layer farms of South India, mainly in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu, a highly dense poultry-growing area in India. The histopathology-positive tissue sections were identified and further confirmed by immunohistochemistry using virus-specific antibodies. The viruses belonging to all 3 groups (MDV, ALV, and REV) were isolated in a cell culture system and confirmed by immunofluorescence using virus-specific antibodies. PCR appeared to be the method of choice for rapid and accurate diagnosis of these viruses. The multiplex PCR primers specific to MDV, ALV, REV, and chicken DNA were designed for rapid differential diagnosis. The specificity of the primers was checked by amplification of DNA from virus-infected cell culture in comparison with uninfected samples, and sensitivity was evaluated by calculating the minimum copy number at which amplification occurs in the cloned PCR products. The sequences of the amplicons were compared by BLAST analysis. PCR tests demonstrated the presence of single, dual, or triple viruses in some of the samples. Of 169 samples screened by multiplex PCR, 9 samples were positive for MDV, 17 samples were positive for ALV, 12 samples were positive for REV, and 17 samples were positive for both ALV and REV. Three samples were positive for all three viruses. ALV-positive samples were further subjected to subgroup-specific PCR, which gave positive results for subgroups B and D but not for subgroup J. Multiplex PCR appeared to be a useful technique for rapid differential diagnosis of avian oncogenic viruses and detection of multiple infections of avian oncogenic viruses under field conditions.
Project description:Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is an oncogenic retrovirus that has a similar replication cycle to multiple viruses and therefore can be used as a model system for viral entry into host cells. However, there are few reports on the genes or microRNAs (miRNAs) that are responsible for the replication of ALV-J. Our previous miRNA and RNA sequencing data showed that the expression of miR-34b-5p was significantly upregulated in ALV-J-infected chicken spleens compared to non-infected chicken spleens, but melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) had the opposite expression pattern. In this study, a dual-luciferase reporter assay showed that MDA5 is a direct target of miR-34b-5p. In vitro, overexpression of miR-34b-5p accelerated the proliferation of ALV-J-infected cells by inducing the progression from G2 to S phase and it promoted cell migration. Ectopic expression of MDA5 inhibited ALV-J-infected cell proliferation, the cell cycle and cell migration, and knockdown of MDA5 promoted proliferation, the cell cycle and migration. In addition, during ALV-J infections, MDA5 can detect virus invasion and it triggers the MDA5 signaling pathway. MDA5 overexpression can activate the MDA5 signaling pathway, and thus it can inhibit the mRNA and protein expression of the ALV-J env gene and it can suppress virion secretion. In contrast, in response to the knockdown of MDA5 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) or an miR-34b-5p mimic, genes in the MDA5 signaling pathway were significantly downregulated (P < 0.05), but the mRNA and protein expression of ALV-J env and the sample-to-positive ratio of virion in the supernatants were increased. This indicates that miR-34b-5p is able to trigger the MDA5 signaling pathway and affect ALV-J infections. Together, these results suggest that miR-34b-5p targets MDA5 to accelerate the proliferation and migration of ALV-J-infected cells, and it promotes ALV-J replication, via the MDA5 signaling pathway.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Marek's disease (MD) is an economically important viral disease of chickens caused by Marek's disease virus (MDV), an oncogenic herpesvirus. This disease was well controlled since the widespread use of commercial vaccines, but field MDVs have shown continuous increasing in virulence and acquired the ability to overcome the immune response induced by vaccines. Nowadays, MD continues to be a serious threat to poultry industry, isolation and characterization of MDVs are essential for monitoring changes of viruses and evaluating the effectiveness of existing vaccines. RESULTS: Between 2008 and 2010, 18 field MDV strains were isolated from vaccinated chicken flocks in Sichuan province, China. Three oncogenic genes including Meq, pp38 and vIL-8 genes of the 18 isolates were amplified and sequenced. Homology analysis showed that the deduced amino acid sequences of these three genes exhibit 95.0-98.8%, 99.3-100% and 97.0-98.5% homology respectively with these of other reference strains published in GenBank. Alignment analysis of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences showed that four amino acid mutations in Meq gene and two amino acid mutations in vIL-8 gene displayed perfect regularity in MDVs circulating in China, which could be considered as features of field MDVs prevalent in recent years in China. In addition, one amino acid mutation in pp38 gene can be considered as a feature of virulent MDVs from USA, and three amino acid mutations in Meq gene were identified and unique in very virulent plus (vv+) MDVs. Phylogenetic analysis based on Meq and vIL-8 protein sequences revealed that field MDVs in China evolved independently. Virulence studies showed that CVI988 could provide efficient protection against the field MDVs epidemic recently in China. CONCLUSIONS: This study and other published data in the GenBank have demonstrated the features of Meq, pp38 and vIL-8 genes of MDVs circulating in recent years in Sichuan, China. Mutations, deletions or insertions were observed in these three genes, and some mutations could be considered as the unique marks of the MDVs circulating presently in China. The paper supplies some valuable information concerning the evolution of MDV which is useful for the vaccine development and control of MD in China.
Project description:In 2010, sporadic cases of avian leukosis virus (ALV)-like bursal lymphoma, also known as spontaneous lymphoid leukosis (LL)-like tumors, were identified in two commercial broiler breeder flocks in the absence of exogenous ALV infection. Two individual ALV subgroup E (ALV-E) field strains, designated AF227 and AF229, were isolated from two different breeder farms. The role of these ALV-E field isolates in development of and the potential joint impact in conjunction with a Marek's disease virus (MDV) vaccine (SB-1) were further characterized in chickens of an experimental line and commercial broiler breeders. The experimental line 0.TVB*S1, commonly known as the rapid feathering-susceptible (RFS) line, of chickens lacks all endogenous ALV and is fully susceptible to all subgroups of ALV, including ALV-E. Spontaneous LL-like tumors occurred following infection with AF227, AF229, and a reference ALV-E strain, RAV60, in RFS chickens. Vaccination with serotype 2 MDV, SB-1, in addition to AF227 or AF229 inoculation, significantly enhanced the spontaneous LL-like tumor incidence in the RFS chickens. The spontaneous LL-like tumor incidence jumped from 14% by AF227 alone to 42 to 43% by AF227 in combination with SB-1 in the RFS chickens under controlled conditions. RNA-sequencing analysis of the LL-like lymphomas and nonmalignant bursa tissues of the RFS line of birds identified hundreds of differentially expressed genes that are reportedly involved in key biological processes and pathways, including signaling and signal transduction pathways. The data from this study suggested that both ALV-E and MDV-2 play an important role in enhancement of the spontaneous LL-like tumors in susceptible chickens. The underlying mechanism may be complex and involved in many chicken genes and pathways, including signal transduction pathways and immune system processes, in addition to reported viral genes.IMPORTANCE Lymphoid leukosis (LL)-like lymphoma is a low-incidence yet costly and poorly understood disease of domestic chickens. The observed unique characteristics of LL-like lymphomas are that the incidence of the disease is chicken line dependent; pathologically, it appeared to mimic avian leukosis but is free of exogenous ALV infection; inoculation of the nonpathogenic ALV-E or MDV-2 (SB-1) boosts the incidence of the disease; and inoculation of both the nonpathogenic ALV-E and SB-1 escalates it to much higher levels. This study was designed to test the impact of two new ALV-E isolates, recently derived from commercial broiler breeder flocks, in combination with the nonpathogenic SB-1 on LL-like lymphoma incidences in both an experimental egg layer line of chickens and a commercial broiler breeder line of chickens under a controlled condition. Data from this study provided an additional piece of experimental evidence on the potency of nonpathogenic ALV-E, MDV-2, and ALV-E plus MDV-2 in boosting the incidence of LL-like lymphomas in susceptible chickens. This study also generated the first piece of genomic evidence that suggests host transcriptomic variation plays an important role in modulating LL-like lymphoma formation.