The Effect of I155T, K156Q, K156E and N186K Mutations in Hemagglutinin on the Virulence and Reproduction of Influenza A/H5N1 Viruses
ABSTRACT: Abstract— The continued circulation of influenza A virus subtype H5 may cause the emergence of new potential pandemic virus variants, which can be transmitted from person to person. The occurrence of such variants is mainly related to mutations in hemagglutinin (HA). Previously we discovered mutations in H5N1 influenza virus hemagglutinin, which contributes to virus immune evasion. The purpose of this work was to study the role of these mutations in changing other, non-antigenic properties of the virus and the possibility of their maintenance in the viral population. Mutations were introduced into the HA gene of a recombinant H5N1 influenza A virus (VNH5N1-PR8/CDC-RG) using site-specific mutagenesis. The “variant” viruses were investigated and compared with respect to replication kinetics in chicken embryos, thermostability, reproductive activity at different temperatures (33, 37 and 40°C), and virulence for mice. Amino acid substitutions I155T, K156Q, K156E+V138A, N186K led to a decrease in thermal stability, replication activity of the mutant viruses in chicken embryos, and virulence for mice, although these effects differed between the variants. The K156Q and N186K mutations reduced viral reproduction at elevated temperature (40°C). The analysis of the frequency of these mutations in natural isolates of H5N1 influenza viruses indicated that the K156E/Q and N186K mutations have little chance to gain a foothold during evolution, in contrast to the I155T mutation, which is the most responsible for antigenic drift. The A138V and N186K mutations seem to be adaptive in mammalian viruses.
Project description:Abstract: Since 2007, highly pathogenic clade 2.3.2 H5N1 avian influenza A (A(H5N1)) viruses have evolved to clade 184.108.40.206a, b, and c; currently only 220.127.116.11c A(H5N1) viruses circulate in wild birds and poultry. During antigenic evolution, clade 18.104.22.168a and c A(H5N1) viruses acquired both S144N and V223I mutations around the receptor binding site of hemagglutinin (HA), with S144N generating an N-glycosylation sequon. We introduced single or combined reverse mutations, N144S and/or I223V, into the HA gene of the clade 22.214.171.124c A(H5N1) virus and generated PR8-derived, 2 + 6 recombinant A(H5N1) viruses. When we compared replication efficiency in embryonated chicken eggs, mammalian cells, and mice, the recombinant virus containing both N144S and I223V mutations showed increased replication efficiency in avian and mammalian hosts and pathogenicity in mice. The N144S mutation significantly decreased avian receptor affinity and egg white inhibition, but not all mutations increased mammalian receptor affinity. Interestingly, the combined reverse mutations dramatically increased the thermostability of HA. Therefore, the adaptive mutations possibly acquired to evade avian immunity may decrease viral thermostability as well as mammalian pathogenicity.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the H5N1 subtype are genetically highly variable and have diversified into multiple phylogenetic clades over the past decade. Antigenic drift is a well-studied phenomenon for seasonal human influenza viruses, but much less is known about the antigenic evolution of HPAI H5N1 viruses that circulate in poultry. In this study, we focused on HPAI H5N1 viruses that are enzootic to Indonesia. We selected representative viruses from genetically distinct lineages that are currently circulating and determined their antigenic properties by hemagglutination inhibition assays. At least six antigenic variants have circulated between 2003, when H5N1 clade 2.1 viruses were first detected in Indonesia, and 2011. During this period, multiple antigenic variants cocirculated in the same geographic regions. Mutant viruses were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis to represent each of the circulating antigenic variants, revealing that antigenic differences between clade 2.1 viruses were due to only one or very few amino acid substitutions immediately adjacent to the receptor binding site. Antigenic variants of H5N1 virus evaded recognition by both ferret and chicken antibodies. The molecular basis for antigenic change in clade 2.1 viruses closely resembled that of seasonal human influenza viruses, indicating that the hemagglutinin of influenza viruses from different hosts and subtypes may be similarly restricted to evade antibody recognition. IMPORTANCE:Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses are responsible for severe outbreaks in both commercial and backyard poultry, causing considerable economic losses and regular zoonotic transmissions to humans. Vaccination is used increasingly to reduce the burden of HPAI H5N1 virus in poultry. Influenza viruses can escape from recognition by antibodies induced upon vaccination or infection through genetic changes in the hemagglutinin protein. The evolutionary patterns and molecular basis of antigenic change in HPAI H5N1 viruses are poorly understood, hampering formulation of optimal vaccination strategies. We have shown here that HPAI H5N1 viruses in Indonesia diversified into multiple antigenic variants, that antigenic differences were due to one or a very few substitutions near the receptor binding site, and that the molecular basis for antigenic change was remarkably similar to that for seasonal human influenza viruses. These findings have consequences for future vaccination and surveillance considerations and contribute to the understanding of the antigenic evolution of influenza viruses.
Project description:Rapid determination of the antigenicity of influenza A virus could help identify the antigenic variants in time. Currently, there is a lack of computational models for predicting antigenic variants of some common hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes of influenza A viruses. By means of sequence analysis, we demonstrate here that multiple HA subtypes of influenza A virus undergo similar mutation patterns of HA1 protein (the immunogenic part of HA). Further analysis on the antigenic variation of influenza A virus H1N1, H3N2 and H5N1 showed that the amino acid residues' contribution to antigenic variation highly differed in these subtypes, while the regional bands, defined based on their distance to the top of HA1, played conserved roles in antigenic variation of these subtypes. Moreover, the computational models for predicting antigenic variants based on regional bands performed much better in the testing HA subtype than those did based on amino acid residues. Therefore, a universal computational model, named PREDAV-FluA, was built based on the regional bands to predict the antigenic variants for all HA subtypes of influenza A viruses. The model achieved an accuracy of 0.77 when tested with avian influenza H9N2 viruses. It may help for rapid identification of antigenic variants in influenza surveillance.
Project description:We mapped the hemagglutinin (HA) antigenic epitopes of a highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus on the three-dimensional HA structure by characterizing escape mutants of a recombinant virus containing A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) deltaHA and neuraminidase genes in the genetic background of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1) virus. The mutants were selected with a panel of eight anti-HA monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), seven to A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) virus and one to A/Chicken/Pennsylvania/8125/83 (H5N2) virus, and the mutants' HA genes were sequenced. The amino acid changes suggested three MAb groups: four MAbs reacted with the complex epitope comprising parts of the antigenic site B of H3 HA and site Sa of H1 HA, two MAbs reacted with the epitope corresponding to the antigenic site A in H3 HA, and two MAbs displayed unusual behavior: each recognized amino acid changes at two widely separate antigenic sites. Five changes were detected in amino acid residues not previously reported as changed in H5 escape mutants, and four others had substitutions not previously described. The HA antigenic structure differs substantially between A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) virus and the low-pathogenic A/Mallard/Pennsylvania/10218/84 (H5N2) virus we previously characterized (N. V. Kaverin et al., J. Gen. Virol. 83:2497-2505, 2002). The hemagglutination inhibition reactions of the MAbs with recent highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses were consistent with the antigenic-site amino acid changes but not with clades and subclades based on H5 phylogenetic analysis. These results provide information on the recognition sites of the MAbs widely used to study H5N1 viruses and demonstrate the involvement of the HA antigenic sites in the evolution of highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses, findings that can be critical for characterizing pathogenesis and vaccine design.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Hemagglutination (HA) and hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays are conventionally used for detection and identification of influenza viruses. HI assay is also used for detection of antibodies against influenza viruses. Primarily turkey or chicken erythrocytes [red blood cells (RBCs)] are used in these assays, as they are large, nucleated, and sediment fast, which makes it easy to determine the titer. Human influenza viruses agglutinate RBCs from chicken, human, and guinea pig, but not from horse. Human influenza viruses bind preferentially to sialic acid (SA) linked to galactose (Gal) by ? 2, 6 linkage (SA ? 2, 6-Gal), whereas avian influenza (AI) viruses bind preferentially to SA ? 2, 3-Gal linkages. With this background, the present study was undertaken to study erythrocyte binding preferences and receptor specificities of AI viruses isolated from India. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of nine AI virus isolates (four subtypes) from India and three reference AI strains (three subtypes) were tested in HA and HI assays against mammalian and avian erythrocytes. The erythrocytes from turkey, chicken, goose, guinea pig and horse were used in the study. The receptor specificity determination assays were performed using goose and turkey RBCs. The amino acids present at 190 helix, 130 and 220 loops of the receptor-binding domain of the hemagglutinin protein were analyzed to correlate amino acid changes with the receptor specificity. RESULTS: All tested highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses reacted with all five types of RBCs in the HA assay; AI H9N2 and H5N2 viruses did not react with horse RBCs. For H5N1 viruses guinea pig and goose RBCs were best for both HA and HI assays. For H9N2 viruses, guinea pig, fowl and turkey RBCs were suitable. For other tested AI subtypes, avian and guinea pig RBCs were better. Eight isolates of H5N1, one H4N6 and one H7N1 virus showed preference to avian sialic acid receptors. Importantly, two isolates of HPAI H5N1, H9N2 and H11N1 viruses showed receptor specificity preference to both avian and mammalian sialic acid (?-2, 3 and ?-2, 6) receptors. CONCLUSIONS: Use of different types of RBCs resulted in titer variations in HA and HI assays. This showed that RBCs giving optimum HA and HI titers would increase sensitivity of detection and would be more appropriate for identification and antigenic analysis of AI viruses. Analysis of 16 amino acids in the receptor-binding domain of the hemagglutinin of HPAI H5N1 viruses revealed that the only variation observed was in S221P amino acid position. Two H5N1 viruses showed S221P amino acid change, out of which only one H5N1 virus showed preference to ? 2, 6 sialic acid receptor. One H5N1 virus isolate with amino acid S at 221 position, showed preference to ? 2,3 as well as ? 2,6 sialic acid receptors. This indicated that factor(s) other than S221P mutation in the hemagglutinin are probably involved in determining receptor specificity of H5N1 viruses. This is the first report of receptor specificity and erythrocyte binding preferences of AI viruses from India.
Project description:Avian influenza viruses continue to evolve and acquire mutations that facilitate antigenic drift and virulence change. In 2017, low-pathogenicity H7N9 avian influenza viruses evolved to a high-pathogenicity phenotype in China. Comparative antigenic analysis of the low- and high-pathogenicity virus strains showed marked variability. In order to identify residues that may be linked to the antigenic change among the H7N9 viruses, we serially passaged the viruses in the presence of homologous ferret antiserum. Progeny viruses able to overcome the neutralizing capacity of the antiserum were sequenced. The analysis showed that the emergent immune escape viruses contained mutations A125T, A151T, and L217Q in the hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein as early as passage 5 and that these mutations persisted until passage 10. The results revealed that a single mutation, L217Q, in the HA of H7N9 virus led to 23- and 8-fold reductions in hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titer with ferret and chicken antisera, respectively. Further analysis showed that this change also contributed to antigenic differences between the low- and high-pathogenicity H7N9 viruses, thus playing a major role in their antigenic diversification. Therefore, evolutionary changes at amino acid position 217 in the H7N9 viruses can serve as a genetic marker for virus antigenic diversity during vaccine seed matching and selection. The in vitro immune escape mutant selection method used in this study could also aid in the prediction of emerging antigenic variants in naturally infected or immunized animals.IMPORTANCE Avian influenza H7N9 viruses circulating in poultry and wild birds continue to evolve and acquire important phenotypic changes. Mutations to the virus hemagglutinin (HA) glycoprotein can modulate virus antigenicity and facilitate virus escape from natural or vaccine-induced immunity. The focus of this study was to identify evolutionary markers in the HA of H7N9 that drive escape from antibody-based immunity. To achieve this, we propagated low-pathogenicity H7N9 virus in the presence of polyclonal antiserum derived from ferrets infected with the same strain of virus (homologous antiserum). This selection process was repeated 10 times. The HA gene sequences of viruses recovered after the fifth passage showed that the viruses readily acquired mutations at three different amino acid positions (A125T, A151T, and L217Q). Further functional analysis of these mutations confirmed that the mutation at residue 217 in the HA was responsible for mediating changes to the immunological properties of the H7N9 virus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Indonesia is one of the countries most severely affected by H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in terms of poultry and human health. However, there is little information on the diversity of H5N1 viruses circulating in backyard farms, where chickens and ducks often intermingle. In this study, H5N1 virus infection occurring in 96 smallholder duck farms in central Java, Indonesia from 2007-2008 was investigated and the molecular and antigenic characteristics of H5N1 viruses isolated from these farms were analysed. RESULTS: All 84 characterised viruses belonged to H5N1 clade 2.1 with three virus sublineages being identified: clade 2.1.1 (1), clade 2.1.3 (80), and IDN/6/05-like viruses (3) that did not belong to any of the present clades. All three clades were found in ducks, while only clade 2.1.3 was isolated from chickens. There were no significant amino acid mutations of the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) sites of the viruses, including the receptor binding, glycosylation, antigenic and catalytic sites and NA inhibitor targets. All the viruses had polybasic amino acids at the HA cleavage site. No evidence of major antigenic variants was detected. Based on the HA gene, identical virus variants could be found on different farms across the study sites and multiple genetic variants could be isolated from HPAI outbreaks simultaneously or at different time points from single farms. HPAI virus was isolated from both ducks and chickens; however, the proportion of surviving duck cases was considerably higher than in chickens. CONCLUSIONS: The 2.1.3 clade was the most common lineage found in this study. All the viruses had sequence characteristic of HPAI, but negligible variations in other recognized amino acids at the HA and NA proteins which determine virus phenotypes. Multiple genetic variants appeared to be circulating simultaneously within poultry communities. The high proportion of live duck cases compared to chickens over the study period suggests that ducks are more likely to survive infection and they may better suit the role of long-term maintenance host for H5N1. As some viruses were isolated from dead birds, there was no clear correlation between genetic variations and pathogenicity of these viruses.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, especially H5N1 strains, represent a public health threat and cause widespread morbidity and mortality in domestic poultry. Recombinant virus-like particles (VLPs) represent a promising novel vaccine approach to control avian influenza including HPAI strains. Influenza VLPs contain viral hemagglutinin (HA), which can be expressed in cell culture within highly immunogenic VLPs that morphologically and antigenically resemble influenza virions, except VLPs are non-infectious. Here we describe a recombinant VLP containing HA proteins derived from three distinct clades of H5N1 viruses as an experimental, broadly protective H5 avian influenza vaccine. A baculovirus vector was configured to co-express the H5 genes from recent H5N1 HPAI isolates A/chicken/Germany/2014 (clade 126.96.36.199), A/chicken/West Java/Subang/29/2007 (clade 2.1.3) and A/chicken/Egypt/121/2012 (clade 2.2.1). Co-expression of these genes in Sf9 cells along with influenza neuraminidase (NA) and retrovirus gag genes resulted in production of triple-clade H555 VLPs that exhibited hemagglutination activity and morphologically resembled influenza virions. Vaccination of chickens with these VLPs resulted in induction of serum antibody responses and efficient protection against experimental challenges with three different viruses including the recent U.S. H5N8 HPAI isolate. We conclude that these novel triple-clade VLPs represent a feasible strategy for simultaneously evoking protective antibodies against multiple variants of H5 influenza virus.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND: Three influenza pandemics outbroke in the last century accompanied the viral antigen shift and drift, resulting in the change of antigenic property and the low cross protective ability of the existed antibody to the newly emerged pandemic virus, and eventually the death of millions of people. The antigenic characterizations of the viruses isolated in central China in 2004 and 2006-2007 were investigated in the present study. RESULTS: Hemagglutinin inhibition assay and neutralization assay displayed differential antigenic characteristics of the viruses isolated in central China in two periods (2004 and 2006-2007). HA genes of the viruses mainly located in two branches in phylogeny analysis. 53 mutations of the deduced amino acids of the HA genes were divided into 4 patterns. Mutations in pattern 2 and 3 showed the main difference between viruses isolated in 2004 and 2006-2007. Meanwhile, most amino acids in pattern 2 and 3 located in the globular head of the HA protein, and some of the mutations evenly distributed at the epitope sites. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that a major antigenic drift had occurred in the viruses isolated in central China. And monitoring the antigenic property should be the priority in preventing the potential pandemic of H5N1 avian influenza virus.
Project description:The nature of influenza virus to randomly mutate and evolve into new types with diverse antigenic determinants is an important challenge in the control of influenza infection. Particularly, variations within the amino acid sequences of major neutralizing epitopes of influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) hindered the development of universal vaccines against H5N1 lineages. Based on distribution analyses of the identified major neutralizing epitopes of hemagglutinin, we selected three vaccine strains that cover the entire variants in the neutralizing epitopes among the H5N1 lineages. HA proteins of selected vaccine strains were expressed on the baculovirus surface (BacHA), and the preclinical efficacy of the vaccine formulations was evaluated in a mouse model. The combination of three selected vaccine strains could effectively neutralize viruses from clades 1, 2.1, 2.2, 4, 7, and 8 of influenza H5N1 viruses. In contrast, a vaccine formulation containing only adjuvanted monovalent BacHA (mono-BacHA) or a single strain of inactivated whole viral vaccine was able to neutralize only clade 1 (homologous), clade 2.1, and clade 8.0 viruses. Also, the trivalent BacHA vaccine was able to protect 100% of the mice against challenge with three different clades (clade 1.0, clade 2.1, and clade 7.0) of H5N1 strains compared to mono-BacHA or inactivated whole viral vaccine. The present findings provide a rationale for the development of a universal vaccine against H5N1 lineages. Furthermore, baculoviruses displaying HA will serve as an ideal choice for a vaccine in prepandemic or pandemic situations and expedite vaccine technology without the requirement of high-level-biocontainment facilities or tedious protein purification processes.