Ebola virus (EBOV) protein L (EBOL) acts as a viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the transcription and replication of the EBOV genome, we sought to identify cellular factors involved in these processes via their coimmunoprecipitation with EBOL and by mass spectrometry. Of 65 candidate proteins identified, we focused on DNA topoisomerase 1 (TOP1), which localizes to the nucleus and unwinds helical DNA. We found that in the presence of EBOL, TOP1 colocalizes and interacts with EBOL in the cytoplasm, where transcription and replication of the EBOV genome occur. Knockdown of TOP1 markedly reduced virus replication and viral polymerase activity. We also found that the phosphodiester bridge-cleaving and recombination activities of TOP1 are required for the polymerase activity of EBOL. These results demonstrate that TOP1 is an important cellular factor for the transcription and replication of the EBOV genome and, as such, plays a key role in the EBOV life cycle.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a severe viral infection for which no effective treatment or vaccine is currently available. While the nonhuman primate (NHP) model is used for final evaluation of experimental vaccines and therapeutic efficacy, rodent models have been widely used in ebolavirus research because of their convenience. However, the validity of rodent models has been questioned given their low predictive value for efficacy testing of vaccines and therapeutics, a result of the inconsistent manifestation of coagulopathy seen in EHF. Here, we describe a lethal Syrian hamster model of EHF using mouse-adapted Ebola virus. Infected hamsters displayed most clinical hallmarks of EHF, including severe coagulopathy and uncontrolled host immune responses. Thus, the hamster seems to be superior to the existing rodent models, offering a better tool for understanding the critical processes in pathogenesis and providing a new model for evaluating prophylactic and postexposure interventions prior to testing in NHPs.
ebolavirus; Ebola hemorrhagic fever; animal model; pathogenesis; coagulopathy
Background. The pathogenesis of influenza A virus subtype H5N1 (hereafter, “H5N1”) infection in humans is not completely understood, although hypercytokinemia is thought to play a role. We previously reported that most H5N1 viruses induce high cytokine responses in human macrophages, whereas some H5N1 viruses induce only a low level of cytokine production similar to that induced by seasonal viruses.
Methods. To identify the viral molecular determinants for cytokine induction of H5N1 viruses in human macrophages, we generated a series of reassortant viruses between the high cytokine inducer A/Vietnam/UT3028II/03 clone 2 (VN3028IIcl2) and the low inducer A/Indonesia/UT3006/05 (IDN3006) and evaluated cytokine expression in human macrophages.
Results. Viruses possessing the acidic polymerase (PA) gene of VN3028IIcl2 exhibited high levels of hypercytokinemia-related cytokine expression in human macrophages, compared with IDN3006, but showed no substantial differences in viral growth in these cells. Further, the PA gene of VN3028IIcl2 conferred enhanced virulence in mice.
Conclusions. These results demonstrate that the PA gene of VN3028IIcl2 affects cytokine production in human macrophages and virulence in mice. These findings provide new insights into the cytokine-mediated pathogenesis of H5N1 infection in humans.
H5N1 virus; Hypercytokinemia; cytokine; human macrophages; virulence; Microarray; Immune response
Background. The neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor oseltamivir is widely used to treat patients infected with influenza viruses. An Ile-to-Val change at position 117 in influenza A virus subtype H5N1 NA (NA-I117V) confers a reduction in susceptibility to oseltamivir carboxylate. However, the in vivo relevance and molecular basis of the decreased sensitivity mediated by this mutation are poorly understood.
Methods. We created single-point-mutant viruses with 3 genetically different backgrounds (ie, 1 belonging to clade 1 and 2 belonging to clade 2.3.4) and evaluated the effects of the I117V mutation on oseltamivir susceptibility in vitro, in vivo, and in silico.
Results. The NA-I117V mutation conferred a slight reduction in susceptibility to oseltamivir in vitro (1.3- to 6.3-fold changes), although it did not substantially compromise NA enzymatic activity. Mice infected with I117V virus exhibited reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir and decreased survival in 2 of 3 virus pairs tested. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that I117V caused the loss of hydrogen bonds between an arginine at position 118 and the carboxyl group of oseltamivir, leading to a lower binding affinity for oseltamivir.
Conclusions. Our findings provide new insight into the mechanism of NA-I117V–mediated oseltamivir resistance in highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses.
Influenza A virus; H5N1; Oseltamivir; Neuraminidase; I117V mutation; Molecular dynamics simulation
Vaccination is an effective means to protect against influenza virus. Although inactivated and live-attenuated vaccines are currently available, each vaccine has disadvantages (e.g., immunogenicity and safety issues). To overcome these problems, we previously developed a replication-incompetent PB2-knockout (PB2-KO) influenza virus that replicates only in PB2 protein-expressing cells. Here, we generated two PB2-KO viruses whose PB2-coding regions were replaced with the HA genes of either A/California/04/2009 (H1N1pdm09) or A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1). The resultant viruses comparably, or in some cases more efficiently, induced virus-specific antibodies in the serum, nasal wash, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of mice relative to a conventional formalin-inactivated vaccine. Furthermore, mice immunized with these PB2-KO viruses were protected from lethal challenges with not only the backbone virus strain but also strains from which their foreign HAs originated, indicating that PB2-KO viruses with antigenically different HAs could serve as bivalent influenza vaccines.
H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) infection has been reported in poultry and humans with expanding clade designations. Therefore, a vaccine that induces immunity against a broad spectrum of H5N1 viruses is preferable for pandemic preparedness. We established a second H5N1 vaccine candidate, A/duck/Hokkaido/Vac-3/2007 (Vac-3), in our virus library and examined the efficacy of inactivated whole particles of this strain against two clades of H5N1 HPAIV strains that caused severe morbidity in cynomolgus macaques. Virus propagation in vaccinated macaques infected with either of the H5N1 HPAIV strains was prevented compared with that in unvaccinated macaques. This vaccine also prevented propagation of a pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus in macaques. In the vaccinated macaques, neutralization activity, which was mainly shown by anti-hemagglutinin antibody, against H5N1 HPAIVs in plasma was detected, but that against H1N1 virus was not detected. However, neuraminidase inhibition activity in plasma and T-lymphocyte responses in lymph nodes against H1N1 virus were detected. Therefore, cross-clade and heterosubtypic protective immunity in macaques consisted of humoral and cellular immunity induced by vaccination with Vac-3.
Interferons (IFNs) are a group of cytokines with a well-established antiviral function. They can be induced by viral infection, are secreted and bind to specific receptors on the same or neighbouring cells to activate the expression of hundreds of IFN stimulated genes (ISGs) with antiviral function. Type I IFN has been known for more than half a century. However, more recently, type III IFN (IFNλ, IL-28/29) was shown to play a similar role and to be particularly important at epithelial surfaces. Here we show that airway epithelia, the primary target of influenza A virus, produce both IFN I and III upon infection, and that induction of both depends on the RIG-I/MAVS pathway. While IRF3 is generally regarded as the transcription factor required for initiation of IFN transcription and the so-called “priming loop”, we find that IRF3 deficiency has little impact on IFN expression. In contrast, lack of IRF7 reduced IFN production significantly, and only IRF3−/−IRF7−/− double deficiency completely abolished it. The transcriptional response to influenza infection was largely dependent on IFNs, as it was reduced to a few upregulated genes in epithelia lacking receptors for both type I and III IFN (IFNAR1−/−IL-28Rα−/−). Wild-type epithelia and epithelia deficient in either the type I IFN receptor or the type III IFN receptor exhibit similar transcriptional profiles in response to virus, indicating that none of the induced genes depends selectively on only one IFN system. In chimeric mice, the lack of both IFN I and III signalling in the stromal compartment alone significantly increased the susceptibility to influenza infection. In conclusion, virus infection of airway epithelia induces, via a RIG-I/MAVS/IRF7 dependent pathway, both type I and III IFNs which drive two completely overlapping and redundant amplification loops to upregulate ISGs and protect from influenza infection.
The response of cells to virus infection depends on Interferons (IFNs), a group of cytokines which activate the expression of hundreds of genes that help control viral replication inside infected cells. While type I IFN was discovered in 1957, type III IFN (IFNλ, IL-28/29) was characterized recently and is known for its role in the response to hepatitis C virus. Airway epithelia are the primary target of influenza virus, and we studied how infection induces IFNs and which IFN is most important for the epithelial anti-influenza response. We found that infected epithelia detect virus through the cytoplasmic RIG-I/MAVS recognition system, leading to activation of the transcription factor IRF7 and subsequent induction of both type I and III IFNs. All ensuing cellular responses to infection are dependent on the production and secretion of IFNs, as responses are lost in epithelia lacking receptors for both type I and III IFNs. Finally, gene induction is indistinguishable in single receptor-deficient and wild-type cells, indicating that the two IFN systems are completely redundant in epithelia. Thus, influenza infection of airway epithelia induces, via a RIG-I/MAVS/IRF7 dependent pathway, both type I and III IFNs which drive two overlapping and redundant amplification loops to upregulate antiviral genes.
Currently available influenza vaccines provide suboptimal protection. In order to improve the quality of protective immune responses elicited following vaccination, we developed an oil-in-water nanoemulsion (NE)-based adjuvant for an intranasally-delivered inactivated influenza vaccine. Using a prime-boost vaccination regimen, we show that intranasal vaccines containing the W805EC NE elicited higher titers of serum hemagglutination inhibiting (HAI) antibody and influenza-specific IgG and IgA titers compared to vaccines that did not contain the NE. Similarly, vaccines containing the W805EC NE resulted in higher influenza-specific IgA levels in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and nasal wash when compared to vaccines formulated without NE. The higher antibody titers in mice immunized with the NE-containing vaccines correlated with reduced viral loads in the lungs and nasal turbinates following a high dose viral challenge. Mice immunized with vaccines containing the W805EC NE also showed a reduction in body weight loss following challenge compared to mice immunized with equivalent vaccines produced without NE. Taken together, our results show that the W805EC NE substantially improves the magnitude of protective influenza-specific antibody responses and is a promising mucosal adjuvant for influenza vaccines and vaccines against other mucosal pathogens.
The influenza A virus NS1 protein affects virulence through several mechanisms, including the host's innate immune response and various signaling pathways. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses of the H5N1 subtype continue to evolve through reassortment and mutations. Our recent phylogenetic analysis identified a group of HPAI H5N1 viruses with two characteristic mutations in NS1: the avian virus-type PDZ domain-binding motif ESEV (which affects virulence) was replaced with ESKV, and NS1-138F (which is highly conserved among all influenza A viruses and may affect the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase [PI3K]/Akt signaling pathway) was replaced with NS1-138Y. Here, we show that an HPAI H5N1 virus (A/duck/Hunan/69/2004) encoding NS1-ESKV and NS1-138Y was confined to the respiratory tract of infected mice, whereas a mutant encoding NS1-ESEV and NS1-138F caused systemic infection and killed mice more efficiently. Mutation of either one of these sites had small effects on virulence. In addition, we found that the amino acid at NS1-138 affected not only the induction of the PI3K/Akt pathway but also the interaction of NS1 with cellular PDZ domain proteins. Similarly, the mutation in the PDZ domain-binding motif of NS1 altered its binding to cellular PDZ domain proteins and affected Akt phosphorylation. These findings suggest a functional interplay between the mutations at NS1-138 and NS1-229 that results in a synergistic effect on influenza virulence.
The 1918 pandemic influenza virus was the most devastating infectious agent in human history, causing fatal pneumonia and an estimated 20 to 50 million deaths worldwide. Previous studies indicated a prominent role of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene in efficient replication and high virulence of the 1918 virus in mice. It is, however, still unclear whether the high replication ability or the 1918 influenza virus HA gene is required for 1918 virus to exhibit high virulence in mice. Here, we examined the biological properties of reassortant viruses between the 1918 virus and a contemporary human H1N1 virus (A/Kawasaki/173/2001 [K173]) in a mouse model. In addition to the 1918 influenza virus HA, we demonstrated the role of the viral RNA replication complex in efficient replication of viruses in mouse lungs, whereas only the HA gene is responsible for lethality in mice. Global gene expression profiling of infected mouse lungs revealed that the 1918 influenza virus HA was sufficient to induce transcriptional changes similar to those induced by the 1918 virus, despite difference in lymphocyte gene expression. Increased expression of genes associated with the acute-phase response and the protein ubiquitination pathway were enriched during infections with the 1918 and 1918HA/K173 viruses, whereas reassortant viruses bearing the 1918 viral RNA polymerase complex induced transcriptional changes similar to those seen with the K173 virus. Taken together, these data suggest that HA and the viral RNA polymerase complex are critical determinants of Spanish influenza pathogenesis, but only HA, and not the viral RNA polymerase complex and NP, is responsible for extreme host responses observed in mice infected with the 1918 influenza virus.
Influenza is a common infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. Annual epidemics cause severe illnesses, deaths, and economic loss around the world. To better defend against influenza viral infection, it is essential to understand its mechanisms and associated host responses. Many studies have been conducted to elucidate these mechanisms, however, the overall picture remains incompletely understood. A systematic understanding of influenza viral infection in host cells is needed to facilitate the identification of influential host response mechanisms and potential drug targets.
We constructed a comprehensive map of the influenza A virus (‘IAV’) life cycle (‘FluMap’) by undertaking a literature-based, manual curation approach. Based on information obtained from publicly available pathway databases, updated with literature-based information and input from expert virologists and immunologists, FluMap is currently composed of 960 factors (i.e., proteins, mRNAs etc.) and 456 reactions, and is annotated with ~500 papers and curation comments. In addition to detailing the type of molecular interactions, isolate/strain specific data are also available. The FluMap was built with the pathway editor CellDesigner in standard SBML (Systems Biology Markup Language) format and visualized as an SBGN (Systems Biology Graphical Notation) diagram. It is also available as a web service (online map) based on the iPathways+ system to enable community discussion by influenza researchers. We also demonstrate computational network analyses to identify targets using the FluMap.
The FluMap is a comprehensive pathway map that can serve as a graphically presented knowledge-base and as a platform to analyze functional interactions between IAV and host factors. Publicly available webtools will allow continuous updating to ensure the most reliable representation of the host-virus interaction network. The FluMap is available at http://www.influenza-x.org/flumap/.
Drug targets; FluMap; Host factors; Influenza virus; Pathways
Many replication events are involved in the influenza A virus life cycle, and they are accomplished by different virus proteins with specific functions. However, because the size of the influenza virus genome is limited, the virus uses different mechanisms to express multiple viral proteins from a single gene segment. The M2 and NS2 proteins are produced by splicing, and several novel influenza A virus proteins, such as PB1-F2, PB1-N40, and PA-X, have recently been identified. Here, we identified novel PA-related proteins in influenza A virus-infected cells. These newly identified proteins are translated from the 11th and 13th in-frame AUG codons in the PA mRNA and are, therefore, N-terminally truncated forms of PA, which we named PA-N155 and PA-N182, respectively. The 11th and 13th AUG codons are highly conserved among influenza A viruses, and the PA-N155 and PA-N182 proteins were detected in cells infected with various influenza A viruses isolated from different host species, suggesting the expression of these N-truncated PAs is universal in nature among influenza A viruses. These N-truncated PAs did not show polymerase activity when expressed together with PB1 and PB2; however, mutant viruses lacking the N-truncated PAs replicated more slowly in cell culture and had lower pathogenicity in mice than did wild-type virus. These results suggest that these novel PA-related proteins likely possess important functions in the replication cycle of influenza A virus.
To gain insight into the ecology of avian influenza viruses (AIV), we conducted active influenza virus surveillance in domestic ducks on farms located on the flyway of migratory birds in the Dongting Lake region of Hunan Province, China, from winter 2011 until spring 2012. Specimens comprising 3,030 duck swab samples and 1,010 environmental samples were collected from 101 duck farms. We isolated AIV of various HA subtypes, including H3, H4, H5, H6, H9, H10, H11, and H12. We sequenced the entire coding sequences of the genomes of 28 representative isolates constituting 13 specific subtypes. When the phylogenetic relationships among these isolates were examined, we observed that extensive reassortment events had occurred. Among the 28 Dongting Lake viruses, 21 genotypes involving the six internal genes were identified. Furthermore, we identified viruses or viral genes introduced from other countries, viral gene segments of unknown origin, and a novel HA/NA combination. Our findings emphasize the importance of farmed domestic ducks in the Dongting Lake region to the genesis and evolution of AIV and highlight the need for continued surveillance of domestic ducks in this region.
A novel swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus [A(H1N1)pdm09 virus] caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. Most patients exhibited mild symptoms similar to seasonal influenza, but some experienced severe clinical signs and, in the worst cases, died. Such differences in symptoms are generally associated with preexisting medical conditions, but recent reports indicate the possible involvement of viral factors in clinical severity. To better understand the mechanism of pathogenicity of the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, here, we compared five viruses that are genetically similar but were isolated from patients with either severe or mild symptoms. In a mouse model, A/Norway/3487/2009 (Norway3487) virus exhibited greater pathogenicity than did A/Osaka/164/2009 (Osaka164) virus. By exploiting reassortant viruses between these two viruses, we found that viruses possessing the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of Norway3487 in the genetic background of Osaka164 were more pathogenic in mice than other reassortant viruses, indicating a role for HA in the high virulence of Norway3487 virus. Intriguingly, a virus possessing HA, NA, and NS derived from Norway3487 exhibited greater pathogenicity in mice in concert with PB2 and PB1 derived from Osaka164 than did the parental Norway3487 virus. These findings demonstrate that reassortment between A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses can lead to increased pathogenicity and highlight the need for continued surveillance of A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses.
Influenza infection causes respiratory disease that can lead to death. The complex interplay between virus-encoded and host-specific pathogenicity regulators – and the relative contributions of each toward viral pathogenicity – is not well-understood.
By analyzing a collection of lung samples from mice infected by A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1; VN1203), we characterized a signature of transcripts and proteins associated with the kinetics of the host response. Using a new geometrical representation method and two criteria, we show that inoculation concentrations and four specific mutations in VN1203 mainly impact the magnitude and velocity of the host response kinetics, rather than specific sets of up- and down- regulated genes. We observed analogous kinetic effects using lung samples from mice infected with A/California/04/2009 (H1N1), and we show that these effects correlate with morbidity and viral titer.
We have demonstrated the importance of the kinetics of the host response to H5N1 pathogenesis and its relationship with clinical disease severity and virus replication. These kinetic properties imply that time-matched comparisons of ‘omics profiles to viral infections give limited views to differentiate host-responses. Moreover, these results demonstrate that a fast activation of the host-response at the earliest time points post-infection is critical for protective mechanisms against fast replicating viruses.
Influenza; Host; Response; Kinetics; Magnitude; Velocity; Transcriptomics; Proteomics; Multidimensional; Scaling
Respiratory infections stemming from influenza viruses and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV) represent a serious public health threat as emerging pandemics. Despite efforts to identify the critical interactions of these viruses with host machinery, the key regulatory events that lead to disease pathology remain poorly targeted with therapeutics. Here we implement an integrated network interrogation approach, in which proteome and transcriptome datasets from infection of both viruses in human lung epithelial cells are utilized to predict regulatory genes involved in the host response. We take advantage of a novel “crowd-based” approach to identify and combine ranking metrics that isolate genes/proteins likely related to the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV and influenza virus. Subsequently, a multivariate regression model is used to compare predicted lung epithelial regulatory influences with data derived from other respiratory virus infection models. We predicted a small set of regulatory factors with conserved behavior for consideration as important components of viral pathogenesis that might also serve as therapeutic targets for intervention. Our results demonstrate the utility of integrating diverse ‘omic datasets to predict and prioritize regulatory features conserved across multiple pathogen infection models.
Influenza C virus replicates more efficiently at 33°C than at 37°C. To determine whether hemagglutinin-esterase-fusion protein (HEF), a surface glycoprotein of influenza C virus, is a restricting factor for this temperature sensitivity, we analyzed the biological and biochemical properties of HEF at 33°C and 37°C. We found that HEF exhibits intrinsic temperature sensitivities for surface expression and fusion activity.
The envelope glycoprotein (GP) of Marburg virus (MARV) and Ebola virus (EBOV) is responsible for virus entry into host cells and is known as the only target of neutralizing antibodies. While knowledge about EBOV-neutralizing antibodies and the mechanism for the neutralization of infectivity is being accumulated gradually, little is known about antibodies that can efficiently regulate MARV infectivity. Here we show that MARV GP-specific monoclonal antibodies AGP127-8 (IgG1) and MGP72-17 (IgM), which do not inhibit the GP-mediated entry of MARV into host cells, drastically reduced the budding and release of progeny viruses from infected cells. These antibodies similarly inhibited the formation of virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of GP, the viral matrix protein, and nucleoprotein, whereas the Fab fragment of AGP127-8 showed no inhibitory effect. Morphological analyses revealed that filamentous VLPs were bunched on the surface of VLP-producing cells cultured in the presence of the antibodies. These results demonstrate a novel mechanism of the antibody-mediated inhibition of MARV budding, in which antibodies arrest unformed virus particles on the cell surface. Our data lead to the idea that such antibodies, like classical neutralizing antibodies, contribute to protective immunity against MARV and that the “classical” neutralizing activity is not the only indicator of a protective antibody that may be available for prophylactic and therapeutic use.
Biological networks are important for elucidating disease etiology due to their ability to model complex high dimensional data and biological systems. Proteomics provides a critical data source for such models, but currently lacks robust de novo methods for network construction, which could bring important insights in systems biology.
We have evaluated the construction of network models using methods derived from weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). We show that approximately scale-free peptide networks, composed of statistically significant modules, are feasible and biologically meaningful using two mouse lung experiments and one human plasma experiment. Within each network, peptides derived from the same protein are shown to have a statistically higher topological overlap and concordance in abundance, which is potentially important for inferring protein abundance. The module representatives, called eigenpeptides, correlate significantly with biological phenotypes. Furthermore, within modules, we find significant enrichment for biological function and known interactions (gene ontology and protein-protein interactions).
Biological networks are important tools in the analysis of complex systems. In this paper we evaluate the application of weighted co-expression network analysis to quantitative proteomics data. Protein co-expression networks allow novel approaches for biological interpretation, quality control, inference of protein abundance, a framework for potentially resolving degenerate peptide-protein mappings, and a biomarker signature discovery.
Biomarkers; Biological networks; Networks; Systems biology; Virology; Sarcopenia; LC-MS; Proteomics
An influenza A virus that originated in pigs caused a pandemic in 2009. The sialidase activity of the neuraminidase (NA) of previous pandemic influenza A viruses are stable at low pH (≤5). Here, we identified the amino acids responsible for this property. We found differences in low-pH stability at pH 5.0 among pandemic (H1N1) 2009 viruses, which enhanced the replication of these viruses. Low-pH-stable NA enhancement of virus replication may have contributed to the rapid worldwide spread and adaptation to humans of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 viruses during the early stages of the 2009 pandemic.
Influenza B virus hemagglutinin (BHA) contains a predicted cytoplasmic tail of 10 amino acids that are highly conserved among influenza B viruses. To understand the role of this cytoplasmic tail in infectious virus production, we used reverse genetics to generate a recombinant influenza B virus lacking the BHA cytoplasmic tail domain. The resulting virus, designated BHATail−, had a titer approximately 5 log units lower than that of wild-type virus but grew normally when BHA was supplemented in trans by BHA-expressing cells. Although the levels of BHA cell surface expression were indistinguishable between truncated and wild-type BHA, the BHATail− virus produced particles containing dramatically less BHA. Moreover, removal of the cytoplasmic tail abrogated the association of BHA with Triton X-100-insoluble lipid rafts. Interestingly, long-term culture of a virus lacking the BHA cytoplasmic tail in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells yielded a mutant with infectivities somewhat similar to that of wild-type virus. Sequencing revealed that the mutant virus retained the original cytoplasmic tail deletion but acquired additional mutations in its BHA, neuraminidase (NA), and M1 proteins. Viral growth kinetic analysis showed that replication of BHA cytoplasmic tailless viruses could be improved by compensatory mutations in the NA and M1 proteins. These findings indicate that the cytoplasmic tail domain of BHA is important for efficient incorporation of BHA into virions and tight lipid raft association. They also demonstrate that the domain is not absolutely required for virus viability in cell culture in the presence of compensatory mutations.
Although clinical trials with human subjects are essential for determination of safety, infectivity, and immunogenicity, it is desirable to know in advance the infectiousness of potential candidate live attenuated influenza vaccine strains for human use. We compared the replication kinetics of wild-type and live attenuated influenza viruses, including H1N1, H3N2, H9N2, and B strains, in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, primary epithelial cells derived from human adenoids, and human bronchial epithelium (NHBE cells). Our data showed that despite the fact that all tissue culture models lack a functional adaptive immune system, differentiated cultures of human epithelium exhibited the greatest restriction for all H1N1, H3N2, and B vaccine viruses studied among three cell types tested and the best correlation with their levels of attenuation seen in clinical trials with humans. In contrast, the data obtained with MDCK cells were the least predictive of restricted viral replication of live attenuated vaccine viruses in humans. We were able to detect a statistically significant difference between the replication abilities of the U.S. (A/Ann Arbor/6/60) and Russian (A/Leningrad/134/17/57) cold-adapted vaccine donor strains in NHBE cultures. Since live attenuated pandemic influenza vaccines may potentially express a hemagglutinin and neuraminidase from a non-human influenza virus, we assessed which of the three cell cultures could be used to optimally evaluate the infectivity and cellular tropism of viruses derived from different hosts. Among the three cell types tested, NHBE cultures most adequately reflected the infectivity and cellular tropism of influenza virus strains with different receptor specificities. NHBE cultures could be considered for use as a screening step for evaluating the restricted replication of influenza vaccine candidates.