Avian Influenza H5N6 Viruses Exhibit Differing Pathogenicities and Transmissibilities in Mammals.
ABSTRACT: Since 2013, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses have emerged in poultry and caused sporadic infections in humans, increasing global concerns regarding their potential as human pandemic threats. Here, we characterized the receptor-binding specificities, pathogenicities and transmissibilities of three H5N6 viruses isolated from poultry in China. The surface genes hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) were closely related to the human-originating strain A/Changsha/1/2014 (H5N6). Phylogenetic analyses showed that the HA genes were clustered in the 220.127.116.11 clade, and the NA genes were derived from H6N6 viruses. These H5N6 viruses bound both ?-2,3-linked and ?-2,6-linked sialic acid receptors, but they exhibited different pathogenicities in mice. In addition, one virus was fully infective and transmissible by direct contact in guinea pigs. These results highlight the importance of monitoring the continual adaptation of H5N6 viruses in poultry due to their potential threat to human health.
Project description:New reassortant H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (AIVs) were isolated from apparently healthy domestic ducks in Southern China in 2014. Our results show that the viruses grew efficiently in eggs and replicated systemically in chickens. They were completely lethal in chicken (100% mortality), and the mean death time was 6 to 7 days post-inoculation. The viruses could transmit in chickens by naïve contact. BLAST analysis revealed that their HA gene was most closely related to A/wild duck/Shangdong/628/2011 (H5N1), and their NA genes were most closely related to A/swine/Guangdong/K6/2010 (H6N6). The other genes had the highest identity with A/wild duck/Fujian/1/2011(H5N1). The results of phylogenetic analysis showed that their HA genes clustered into clade 18.104.22.168 of the H5N1 viruses and all genes derived from H5 were Mix-like or H6-like viruses. Thus, the new H5N6 viruses were reassortmented of H5N1 and H6N6 virus. Therefore, the circulation of the new H5N6 AIVs may become a threat to poultry and human health.
Project description:First identified in May 2014 in China's Sichuan Province, initial cases of H5N6 avian influenza virus (AIV) infection in humans raised great concerns about the virus's prevalence, origin, and development. To evaluate both AIV contamination in live poultry markets (LPMs) and the risk of AIV infection in humans, we have conducted surveillance of LPMs in Guangdong Province since 2013 as part of environmental sampling programs. With environmental samples associated with these LPMs, we performed genetic and phylogenetic analyses of 10 H5N6 AIVs isolated from different cities of Guangdong Province from different years. Results revealed that the H5N6 viruses were reassortants with hemagglutinin (HA) genes derived from clade 22.214.171.124 of H5-subtype AIV, yet neuraminidase (NA) genes derived from H6N6 AIV. Unlike the other seven H5N6 viruses isolated in first 7 months of 2014, all of which shared remarkable sequence similarity with the H5N1 AIV in all internal genes, the PB2 genes of GZ693, GZ670, and ZS558 more closely related to H6N6 AIV and the PB1 gene of GZ693 to the H3-subtype AIV. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the environmental H5N6 AIV related closely to human H5N6 AIVs isolated in Guangdong. These results thus suggest that continued reassortment has enabled the emergence of a novel H5N6 virus in Guangdong, as well as highlight the potential risk of highly pathogenic H5N6 AIVs in the province.
Project description:Since 2014, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N6 viruses have circulated in waterfowls and caused human infections in China, posing significant threats to the poultry industry and the public health. However, the genetics, pathogenicity and innate immune response of H5N6 HPAIVs in geese remain largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the genetic characteristic of the two H5N6 viruses (GS38 and DK09) isolated from apparently healthy domestic goose and duck in live poultry markets (LPMs) of Southern China in 2016. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the HA genes of the two H5N6 viruses belonged to clade 126.96.36.199 and were clustered into the MIX-like group. The MIX-like group viruses have circulated in regions such as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The NA genes of the two H5N6 viruses were classified into the Eurasian sublineage. The internal genes including PB2, PB1, PA, NP, M, and NS of the two H5N6 viruses derived from the MIX-like. Therefore, our results suggested that the two H5N6 viruses were reassortants of the H5N1 and H6N6 viruses and likely derived from the same ancestor. Additionally, we evaluated the pathogenicity and transmission of the two H5N6 viruses in domestic geese. Results showed that both the two viruses caused serious clinical symptoms in all inoculated geese and led to high mortality in these birds. Both the two viruses were transmitted efficiently to contact geese and caused lethal infection in these birds. Furthermore, we found that mRNA of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), interferons (IFNs), and stimulated genes (ISGs) exhibited different levels of activation in the lungs and spleens of the two H5N6 viruses-inoculated geese though did not protect these birds from H5N6 HPAIVs infection. Our results suggested that the clade 188.8.131.52 waterfowl-origin H5N6 HPAIVs isolated from LPMs of Southern China could cause high mortality in geese and innate immune-related genes were involved in the geese innate immune response to H5N6 HPAIVs infection. Therefore, we should pay more attention to the evolution, pathogenic variations of these viruses and enhance virological surveillance of clade 184.108.40.206 H5N6 HPAIVs in waterfowls in China.
Project description:H5Nx viruses have continuously emerged in the world, causing poultry industry losses and posing a potential public health risk. Here, we studied the phylogeny, pathogenicity, transmission, and immune response of four H5N6 avian influenza viruses in chickens and mice, which were isolated from waterfowl between 2013 and 2014. Their HA genes belong to Clade 220.127.116.11, circulated in China since 2008. Their NA genes fall into N6-like/Eurasian sublineage. Their internal genes originated from different H5N1 viruses. The results suggested that the four H5N6 viruses were reassortants of the H5N1 and H6N6 viruses. They cause lethal infection with high transmission capability in chickens. They also cause mild to severe pathogenicity in mice and can spread to the brain through the blood-brain barrier. During the infection, the viruses result in the up-regulation of PRRs and cytokine in brains and lungs of chickens and mice. Our results suggested that the high viral loads of several organs may result in disease severity in chickens and mice; there were varying levels of cytokines induced by the H5N6 viruses with different pathogenicity in chickens and mice.
Project description:Variant high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) H5 viruses have recently emerged as a result of reassortment of the H5 haemagglutinin (HA) gene with different neuraminidase (NA) genes, including NA1, NA2, NA5, NA6 and NA8. These viruses form a newly proposed HA clade 18.104.22.168 (previously provisionally referred to as clade 22.214.171.124), and have been implicated in disease outbreaks in poultry in China, South Korea, Laos, Japan and Vietnam and a human fatality in China. There is real concern that this new clade may be wide spread and not readily identified using existing diagnostic algorithms.Fluorescent probe based reverse-transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assays were developed to facilitate the identification of novel clade 126.96.36.199 viruses of H5N6 subtype emerging in Asia. Assays were aimed at the haemagglutinin (HA) gene for clade identification and at the NA gene to identify N6. The HA assay employing a minor groove binder (MGB) probe was able to detect and differentiate A/duck/Laos/XBY004/2014(H5N6) and related influenza A(H5N6) virus isolates belonging to the proposed clade 188.8.131.52 from other H5 HPAI viruses. In addition, an Eurasian N6 assay was able to differentiate N6 from other NA subtypes.Laos influenza A(H5N6) virus representative of proposed clade 184.108.40.206, was detected and differentiated from viruses in other H5N1 clades using a clade-specific HA RT-qPCR assay whereas the N6-NA subtype was determined by an Eurasian N6 RT-qPCR assay. Such a clade-specific assay would be of particular value for surveillance and in diagnostic laboratories where sequencing is not readily available.
Project description:In 2014, a sentinel chicken surveillance for avian influenza viruses was conducted in aquatic bird habitat near Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, China. Two H7N2, one H5N6, and two H9N2 viruses were isolated. Sequence analysis revealed that the H7N2 virus is a novel reassortant of H7N9 and H9N2 viruses and H5N6 virus is a reassortant of H5N1 clade 2.3.4 and H6N6 viruses. Substitutions V186 and L226 (H3 numbering) in the hemagglutinin (HA) gene protein was found in two H7N2 viruses but not in the H5N6 virus. Two A138 and A160 mutations were identified in the HA gene protein of all three viruses but a P128 mutation was only observed in the H5N6 virus. A deletion of 3 and 11 amino acids in the neuraminidase stalk region was found in two H7N2 and H5N6 viruses, respectively. Moreover, a mutation of N31 in M2 protein was observed in both two H7N2 viruses. High similarity of these isolated viruses to viruses previously identified among poultry and humans, suggests that peridomestic aquatic birds may play a role in sustaining novel virus transmission. Therefore, continued surveillance is needed to monitor these avian influenza viruses in wild bird and domestic poultry that may pose a threat to poultry and human health.
Project description:The H5 subtype virus of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus has caused huge economic losses to the poultry industry and is a threat to human health. Until 2010, H5N1 subtype virus was the major genotype in China. Since 2011, reassortant H5N2, H5N6, and H5N8 viruses were identified in domestic poultry in China. The clade 220.127.116.11 H5N6 and H5N8 AIV has now spread to most of China. Clade 18.104.22.168 H5N6 virus has caused 17 human deaths. However, the prevalence, pathogenicity, and transmissibility of the distinct NA reassortment with H5 subtypes viruses (H5Nx) is unknown. We constructed five clade 22.214.171.124 reassortant H5Nx viruses that shared the same HA and six internal gene segments. The NA gene segment was replaced with N1, N2, N6, ?N6 (with an 11 amino acid deletion at the 58th to 68th of NA stalk region), and N8 strains, respectively. The reassortant viruses with distinct NAs of clade 126.96.36.199 H5 subtype had different degrees of fitness. All reassortant H5Nx viruses formed plaques on MDCK cell monolayers, but the ?H5N6 grew more efficiently in mammalian and avian cells. The reassortant H5Nx viruses were more virulent in mice as compared to the H5N2 virus. The H5N6 and H5N8 reassortant viruses exhibited enhanced pathogenicity and transmissibility in chickens as compared to the H5N1 reassortant virus. We suggest that comprehensive surveillance work should be undertaken to monitor the H5Nx viruses.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses have been circulating in poultry in Asia since 2013 and producing serious diseases in chickens. Here, we analyzed the genetic properties of 10 H5N6 subtypes AIVs from geese in 2015-2016 in Guangdong province. Phylogenic analysis showed that all HA genes of the 10 viruses belonged to clade 188.8.131.52, and their genes including HA, PA, PB1, M, NP, and NS all derived from Mix-like 1 (CH, VN, LS). Their PB2 genes come from Mix-like 2 (CH, VN, JP). The NA genes were classified into a Eurasian lineage. Therefore, the 10 viruses likely originate from the same ancestor and were all recombinant viruses between different genotypes. We selected A/Goose/Guangdong/GS144/2015(H5N6) (GS144) and A/Goose/Guangdong/GS148/2016(H5N6) (GS148) viruses to inoculate 5-week-old chickens intranasally with 104 EID50/0.1 mL dose intranasally to assess their pathogenicity and transmissibility. Inoculated chickens showed that the GS144 virus caused systematic infection with a lethality of 100%, but the lethality of GS148 virus was 0%. The two viruses were efficiently transmitted to contact chickens. The lethality of GS144 and GS148 virus in contact with chickens was 87.5% and 0%, respectively, which suggests that the transmissibility of GS144 virus was stronger than GS148 virus in chickens. Thus, different H5N6 viruses from the same waterfowl can show different pathogenicity and transmissibility in chickens. Continued surveillance and characteristic analysis of the H5N6 viruses will help us to keep abreast of evolution and variation in avian influenza viruses in the future.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Avian influenza A (H5N6) virus poses a great threat to the human health since it is capable to cross the species barrier and infect humans. Although human infections are believed to largely originate from poultry contaminations, the transmissibility is unclear and only limited information was available on poultry environment contaminations, especially in Fujian Province. METHODS:A total of 4901 environmental samples were collected and tested for Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) from six cities in Fujian Province through the Fujian Influenza Surveillance System from 2013 to 2017. Two patient-related samples were taken from Fujian's first confirmed H5N6 human case and his backyard chicken feces in 2017. Chi-square test or Fisher's exact probability test was used to compare the AIV and the viral subtype positive rates among samples from different Surveillance cities, surveillance sites, sample types, and seasons. Phylogenetic tree analysis and molecular analysis were conducted to track the viral transmission route of the human infection and to map out the evolutions of H5N6 in Fujian. RESULTS:The overall positive rate of the H5 subtype AIVs was 4.24% (208/4903). There were distinctive differences (p?<?0.05) in the positive rates in samples from different cities, sample sites, sample types and seasons. The viruses from the patient and his backyard chicken feces shared high homologies (99.9-100%) in all the eight gene segments. Phylogenetic trees also showed that these two H5N6 viruses were closely related to each other, and were classified into the same genetic clade 184.108.40.206 with another six H5N6 isolates from the environmental samples. The patient's H5N6 virus carried genes from H6N6, H5N8 and H5N6 viruses originated from different areas. The R294K or N294S substitution was not detected in the neuraminidase (NA). The S31?N substitution in the matrix2 (M2) gene was detected but only in one strain from the environmental samples. CONCLUSIONS:The H5 subtype of AIVs has started circulating in the poultry environments in Fujian Province. The patient's viral strain originated from the chicken feces in his backyard. Genetic reassortment in H5N6 viruses in Fujian Province was indicated. The H5N6 viruses currently circulating in Fujian Province were still commonly sensitive to Oseltamivir and Zanamivir, but the resistance against Amantadine has emerged.
Project description:Clade 220.127.116.11 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (H5Nx) have spread from Asia to other parts of the world. Since 2014, human infections with clade 18.104.22.168 highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses have been continuously reported in China. To investigate the genesis of the virus, we analyzed 123 H5 or N6 environmental viruses sampled from live-poultry markets or farms from 2012 to 2015 in Mainland China. Our results indicated that clade 22.214.171.124 H5N2/N6/N8 viruses shared the same hemagglutinin gene as originated in early 2009. From 2012 to 2015, the genesis of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N6 viruses occurred via two independent pathways. Three major reassortant H5N6 viruses (reassortants A, B, and C) were generated. Internal genes of reassortant A and B viruses and reassortant C viruses derived from clade 126.96.36.199c H5N1 and H9N2 viruses, respectively. Many mammalian adaption mutations and antigenic variations were detected among the three reassortant viruses. Considering their wide circulation and dynamic reassortment in poultry, we highly recommend close monitoring of the viruses in poultry and humans. IMPORTANCE Since 2014, clade 188.8.131.52 highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5Nx) viruses have caused many outbreaks in both wild and domestic birds globally. Severe human cases with novel H5N6 viruses in this group were also reported in China in 2014 and 2015. To investigate the genesis of the genetic diversity of these H5N6 viruses, we sequenced 123 H5 or N6 environmental viruses sampled from 2012 to 2015 in China. Sequence analysis indicated that three major reassortants of these H5N6 viruses had been generated by two independent evolutionary pathways. The H5N6 reassortant viruses had been detected in most provinces of southern China and neighboring countries. Considering the mammalian adaption mutations and antigenic variation detected, the spread of these viruses should be monitored carefully due to their pandemic potential.