Evolutionary dynamics of the H7N9 avian influenza virus based on large-scale sequence analysis.
ABSTRACT: Since 2013, epidemics caused by novel H7N9 avian influenza A viruses (AIVs) have become a considerable public health issue. This study investigated the evolution of these viruses at the population level. Compared to H7 and N9 before 2013, there were 18 and 24 substitutions in the majority of novel H7N9 AIVs, respectively. Nine of these in HA and six in NA were rare before 2013, and four of these in HA and two in NA displayed host tropism. S136(128)N and A143(135)V are located on the receptor binding sites of the HA1 subunit and might be important factors in determining the host species of novel H7N9 AIV. On an overall scale, the evolution of H7 and N9, both in terms of time distribution and host species, is under negative selection. However, both in HA and NA, several sites were under positive selection. In both the overall epidemics and the human-derived H7N9 AIVs, eight positive selection sites were identified in HA1, with some located within the known antigen epitopes or the receptor binding site(RBS) domain. This may induce variations in H7N9 AIV with positive selection. It is necessary to strengthen the surveillance of novel H7N9 AIVs, both in human and bird population to determine whether a new virus has emerged through selection pressure and to prevent future epidemics from occurring.
Project description:Our understanding of the global ecology of avian influenza A viruses (AIVs) is impeded by historically low levels of viral surveillance in Latin America. Through sampling and whole-genome sequencing of 31 AIVs from wild birds in Peru, we identified 10 HA subtypes (H1-H4, H6-H7, H10-H13) and 8 NA subtypes (N1-N3, N5-N9). The majority of Peruvian AIVs were closely related to AIVs found in North America. However, unusual reassortants, including a H13 virus containing a PA segment related to extremely divergent Argentinian viruses, suggest that substantial AIV diversity circulates undetected throughout South America.
Project description:An H10N9 avian influenza virus (AIV) strain, A/Chicken/Jiangsu/RD5/2013, was isolated in China. The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes in this strain originated from H10N1 and H7N9 AIVs, respectively, and the other genes derived from H7N3 AIVs. Sequence analysis implies that the H10N9 AIV may be an NA gene donor for the human H7N9 influenza viruses.
Project description:The novel H7N9 avian influenza virus (AIV) was demonstrated to cause severe human respiratory infections in China. Here, we examined poultry specimens from live bird markets linked to human H7N9 infection in Hangzhou, China. Metagenomic sequencing revealed mixed subtypes (H5, H7, H9, N1, N2, and N9). Subsequently, AIV subtypes H5N9, H7N9, and H9N2 were isolated. Evolutionary analysis showed that the hemagglutinin gene of the novel H5N9 virus originated from A/Muscovy duck/Vietnam/LBM227/2012 (H5N1), which belongs to clade 220.127.116.11. The neuraminidase gene of the novel H5N9 virus originated from human-infective A/Hangzhou/1/2013 (H7N9). The six internal genes were similar to those of other H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 virus strains. The virus harbored the PQRERRRKR/GL motif characteristic of highly pathogenic AIVs at the HA cleavage site. Receptor-binding experiments demonstrated that the virus binds ?-2,3 sialic acid but not ?-2,6 sialic acid. Identically, pathogenicity experiments also showed that the virus caused low mortality rates in mice. This newly isolated H5N9 virus is a highly pathogenic reassortant virus originating from H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 subtypes. Live bird markets represent a potential transmission risk to public health and the poultry industry.This investigation confirms that the novel H5N9 subtype avian influenza A virus is a reassortant strain originating from H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 subtypes and is totally different from the H5N9 viruses reported before. The novel H5N9 virus acquired a highly pathogenic H5 gene and an N9 gene from human-infecting subtype H7N9 but caused low mortality rates in mice. Whether this novel H5N9 virus will cause human infections from its avian host and become a pandemic subtype is not known yet. It is therefore imperative to assess the risk of emergence of this novel reassortant virus with potential transmissibility to public health.
Project description:The emergence of the novel influenza A virus (IAV) H7N9 since 2013 has caused concerns about the ability of the virus to spread between humans. Analysis of the receptor-binding properties of the H7 protein of a human isolate revealed modestly increased binding to ?2,6 sialosides and reduced, but still dominant, binding to ?2,3-linked sialic acids (SIAs) compared to a closely related avian H7N9 virus from 2008. Here, we show that the corresponding N9 neuraminidases (NAs) display equal enzymatic activities on a soluble monovalent substrate and similar substrate specificities on a glycan array. In contrast, solid-phase activity and binding assays demonstrated reduced specific activity and decreased binding of the novel N9 protein. Mutational analysis showed that these differences resulted from substitution T401A in the 2nd SIA-binding site, indicating that substrate binding via this site enhances NA catalytic activity. Substitution T401A in the novel N9 protein appears to functionally mimic the substitutions that are found in the 2nd SIA-binding site of NA proteins of avian-derived IAVs that became human pandemic viruses. Our phylogenetic analyses show that substitution T401A occurred prior to substitutions in hemagglutinin (HA), causing the altered receptor-binding properties mentioned above. Hence, in contrast to the widespread assumption that such changes in NA are obtained only after acquisition of functional changes in HA, our data indicate that mutations in the 2nd SIA-binding site may have enabled and even driven the acquisition of altered HA receptor-binding properties and may have contributed to the spread of the novel H7N9 viruses.IMPORTANCE Novel H7N9 IAVs continue to cause human infections and pose an ongoing public health threat. Here, we show that their N9 proteins display reduced binding to and lower enzymatic activity against multivalent substrates, resulting from mutation of the 2nd sialic acid-binding site. This mutation preceded and may have driven the selection of substitutions in H7 that modify H7 receptor-binding properties. Of note, all animal IAVs that managed to cross the host species barrier and became human viruses carry mutated 2nd sialic acid-binding sites. Screening of animal IAVs to monitor their potential to cross the host species barrier should therefore focus not only on the HA protein, but also on the functional properties of NA.
Project description:Influenza subtypes such as H7 have pandemic potential since they are able to infect humans with severe consequences, as evidenced by the ongoing H7N9 infections in China that began in 2013. The diversity of H7 viruses calls for a broadly cross-protective vaccine for protection. We describe the construction of recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vectors expressing the hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase (NA) from three H7 viruses representing both Eurasian and North American H7 lineages - A/mallard/Netherlands/12/2000 (H7N3), A/Canada/rv444/2004 (H7N3), and A/Shanghai/02/2013 (H7N9). These vectors were evaluated for immunogenicity and protective efficacy against H7N3 virus in a murine model of intranasal challenge. High levels of H7-, N3-, and N9-specific antibodies, including neutralizing antibodies, were induced by the MVA-HA and MVA-NA vectors. Mice vaccinated with MVA vectors expressing any of the H7 antigens were protected, suggesting cross-protection among H7 viruses. In addition, MVA vectors expressing N3 but not N9 elicited protection against H7N3 virus challenge. Similar outcomes were obtained when immune sera from MVA vector-immunized mice were passively transferred to naïve mice prior to challenge with the H7N3 virus. The results support the further development of an MVA vector platform as a candidate vaccine for influenza strains with pandemic potential.
Project description:A new reassortant H7N3 avian influenza virus (AIV) was isolated from a duck meat product that was illegally taken on board a passenger flight from China to Japan in March 2018. Sequencing analysis revealed that the H7N3 isolate, A/duck/Japan/AQ-HE30-1/2018 (Dk/HE30-1) (H7N3), was a reassortant highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) that contained the haemagglutinin (HA) gene of Chinese H7N9 HPAIV. Dk/HE30-1 (H7N3) possessed a novel polybasic sequence motif PEVPKRRRTAR/GLF at the HA cleavage site that has never previously been reported in H7 HPAIVs. The HA antigenicity of Dk/HE30-1 (H7N3) slightly differed from that of H7N9 HPAIVs previously reported. These findings will help further our knowledge of the circulation and genetic evolution of emerging AIVs in endemic areas.
Project description:We detected three avian influenza hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes (H7, H9, and H5) and two neuraminidase (NA) subtypes (N9 and N2), as well as H7N9-related H9N9 reassortant intermediates, cocirculating among poultry in Huzhou, China, during April 2013. The results of our study reveal not only that Huzhou is one of the geographic origins of the novel H7N9 virus but also that cocirculation poses a potential threat to humans in the future.
Project description:The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of H7 avian influenza virus (AIV) isolated between 1994 and 2002 from live-bird markets (LBMs) in the northeastern United States and from three outbreaks in commercial poultry have been characterized. Phylogenetic analysis of the HA and NA genes demonstrates that the isolates from commercial poultry were closely related to the viruses circulating in the LBMs. Also, since 1994, two distinguishing genetic features have appeared in this AIV lineage: a deletion of 17 amino acids in the NA protein stalk region and a deletion of 8 amino acids in the HA1 protein which is putatively in part of the receptor binding site. Furthermore, analysis of the HA cleavage site amino acid sequence, a marker for pathogenicity in chickens and turkeys, shows a progression toward a cleavage site sequence that fulfills the molecular criteria for highly pathogenic AIV.
Project description:An avian-origin influenza H7N9 virus epidemic occurred in China in 2013-2014, in which >422 infected people suffered from pneumonia, respiratory distress syndrome and septic shock. H7N9 viruses belong to the H7 subtype of avian-origin influenza viruses (AIV-H7). Hemagglutinin (HA) is a vital membrane protein of AIV that has an important role in host recognition and infection. The epitopes of HA are significant determinants of the regularity of epidemic and viral mutation and recombination mechanisms. The present study aimed to predict the conserved B-cell epitopes of AIV-H7 HA using a bioinformatics approach, including the three most effective epitope prediction softwares available online: Artificial Neural Network based B-cell Epitope Prediction (ABCpred), B-cell Epitope Prediction (BepiPred) and Linear B-cell Epitope Prediction (LBtope). A total of 24 strains of Euro-Asiatic AIV-H7 that had been associated with a serious poultry pandemic or had infected humans in the past 30 years were selected to identify the conserved regions of HA. Sequences were obtained from the National Center for Biotechnology Information and Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data databases. Using a combination of software prediction and sequence comparisons, the conserved epitopes of AIV-H7 were predicted and clarified. A total of five conserved epitopes [amino acids (aa) 37-52, 131-142, 215-234, 465-484 and 487-505] with a suitable length, high antigenicity and minimal variation were predicted and confirmed. Each obtained a score of >0.80 in ABCpred, 60% in LBtope and a level of 0.35 in Bepipred. In addition, a representative amino acid change (glutamine235-to-leucine235) in the HA protein of the 2013 AIV-H7N9 was discovered. The strategy adopted in the present study may have profound implications on the rapid diagnosis and control of infectious disease caused by H7N9 viruses, as well as by other virulent viruses, such as the Ebola virus.
Project description:Since 2013, the H7N9 avian influenza A virus (AIV) has caused human infections and to the extent of now surpassing H5N1. This raises an alarm about the potential of H7N9 to become a pandemic problem. Our compilation of the amino acid changes required for AIVs to cross the species-barrier discovers 58 that have very high proportions in both the human- and avian-isolated H7N9 viruses. These changes correspond with sporadic human infections that continue to occur in regions of avian infections. Among the six internal viral genes, amino acid changes do not differ significantly between H9N2 and H7N9, except for V100A in PA, and K526R, D627K, and D701N in PB2. H9N2 AIVs provide internal genes to H7N9. Most of the amino acid changes in H7N9 appear to come directly from H9N2. Seventeen amino acid substitutions appear to have fixed quickly by the 5th wave. Among these, six amino acid sites in HA1 are receptor binding sites, and PB2-A588V was shown to promote the adaptation of AIVs to mammals. The accelerated fixation of mutations may promote the adaptation of H7N9 to human, but need further functional evidence. Although H7N9 AIVs still cannot efficiently transmit between humans, they have the genetic makeup associated with human infections. These viruses must be controlled in poultry to remove the threat of it becoming a human pandemic event.