PA-X is a novel protein encoded by PA mRNA and is found to decrease the pathogenicity of pandemic 1918 H1N1 virus in mice. However, the importance of PA-X proteins in current epidemiologically important influenza A virus strains is not known. In this study, we report on the pathogenicity and pathological effects of PA-X deficient 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses. We found that loss of PA-X expression in pH1N1 and H5N1 viruses increased viral replication and apoptosis in A549 cells and increased virulence and host inflammatory response in mice. In addition, PA-X deficient pH1N1 and H5N1 viruses up-regulated PA mRNA and protein synthesis and increased viral polymerase activity. Loss of PA-X was also accompanied by accelerated nuclear accumulation of PA protein and reduced suppression of PA on non-viral protein expression. Our study highlights the effects of PA-X on the moderation of viral pathogenesis and pathogenicity.
The virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain NA-1 (genotype VII) was isolated from an epizootic involving a flock of geese in Jilin Province, Northeast China, in 1999. Compared with the classical NDV strains, which have a genome size of 15,186 bp, the more recently isolated NDV strains, including that involved in the goose outbreak, have an extra six nucleotides in the 5′-untranslated region (UTR) of the nucleoprotein (NP) gene. This extra sequence, TCCCAC, is highly conserved and has been found in multiple NDV strains, including ZJ-1, WF00G, JSG0210, and NA-1. In the current study, an infectious clone from strain NA-1 was isolated and designated rNA-1. Subsequently, strain rNA-1 was mutated to delete the six-nucleotide insertion, producing strain rNA-1(−). Virulence of the recombinant virus was then assayed in chickens and geese.
The recombinant virus rNA-1(−) showed similar biological characteristics to the parental NA-1 strain in DF-1 chicken fibroblast cells. However, the virulence of rNA-1(−) in 9-day-old embryonated chicken eggs and 1-day-old specific pathogen-free (SPF) chickens was decreased compared with the rNA-1 control. Furthermore, the virulence of the recombinant strain was slightly decreased in 1-day-old SPF chickens when compared with that in 1-day-old geese.
Following deletion of six nucleotides in the 5′-UTR of the NP gene of NDV strain NA-1, the virulence of the rNA-1(−) recombinant strain was decreased in both chickens and geese. However, rNA-1(−) was more virulent in chickens than geese, as seen by the higher intracerebral pathogenicity index value.
Goose; Newcastle disease virus; Reverse genetics
The emerging H5 clade 220.127.116.11 viruses of different NA subtypes have been detected in different domestic poultry in China. We evaluated the receptor binding property and transmissibility of four novel H5 clade 18.104.22.168 subtype highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. The results show that these viruses bound to both avian-type (α-2,3) and human-type (α-2,6) receptors. Furthermore, we found that one of these viruses, GS/EC/1112/11, not only replicated but also transmitted efficiently in guinea pigs. Therefore, such novel H5 subtype viruses have the potential of a pandemic threat.
The strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can be divided into two distinct clades: class I and class II. At present, limited molecular epidemiological data are available for the class I virus at live bird markets (LBMs). Knowing the genomic and antigenic characteristics of class I NDVs might provide important insights into the evolution dynamics of these viruses. In this study class I NDVs isolated from LBMs in Eastern China between 2008 and 2012 were characterized.
We characterized 34 class I NDVs genetically and 15 of the 34 NDVs pathologically which originated from geese, chickens and ducks at live bird markets. Based on the older classification system, twelve of fourteen strains isolated from 2008 to 2010 belonged to sub-genotype 3b. However, the rest 22 strains formed a separate novel cluster in genotype 3, which was designated as sub-genotype 3c. When based on the new classification system, sub-genotype 3b was classified into sub-genotype 1a and the sub-genotype 3c was classified into sub-genotype 1b. Over 62% (21/34) of the viruses were chicken-origin and only 13 isolates were waterfowl-origin. The Cross-neutralization reactions between CK/JS/05/11, CK/JS/06/12 and the vaccine strain LaSota showed significant antigenic differences between them.
Currently, sub-genotype 3c (or 1b) NDVs are the most frequently isolated classI strains at LBMs in Eastern China., and the class I NDVs has transferred from waterfowls to chickens and circulated in chicken flocks extensively.
Class I Newcastle disease virus; Sub-genotype 3c; Sub-genotype 1b; Genetic; Antigenticy
Characteristic clinical manifestations of Newcastle disease include leukopenia and immunosuppression. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) are the main targets of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infection. To survey changes in proteomic expression in chicken PBMCs following NDV infection, PBMC proteins from 30 chickens were separated using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and subjected to mass spectrometry analysis. Quantitative intensity analysis showed that the expression of 78 proteins increased more than two-fold. Thirty-five proteins exhibited consistent changes in expression and 13 were identified as unique proteins by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometer/mass spectrometer including three that were down-regulated and 10 that were up-regulated. These proteins were sorted into five groups based on function: macromolecular biosynthesis, cytoskeleton organization, metabolism, stress responses, and signal transduction. Furthermore, Western blot analysis confirmed the down-regulation of integrin-linked kinase expression and up-regulation of lamin A production. These data provide insight into the in vivo response of target cells to NDV infection at the molecular level. Additionally, results from this study have helped elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of NDV and may facilitate the development of new antiviral therapies as well as innovative diagnostic methods.
Newcastle disease virus; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; proteomics
Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is capable of colonizing outside of the intestinal tract and evolving into a systemic infection. Avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) is a member of the ExPEC group and causes avian colibacillosis. Transfer-mRNA-small protein B (tmRNA-SmpB)-mediated trans-translation is a bacterial translational control system that directs the modification and degradation of proteins, the biosynthesis of which has stalled or has been interrupted, facilitating the rescue of ribosomes stalled at the 3′ ends of defective mRNAs that lack a stop codon. We found that disruption of one, or both, of the smpB or ssrA genes significantly decreased the virulence of the APEC strain E058, as assessed by chicken infection assays. Furthermore, the mutants were obviously attenuated in colonization and persistence assays. The results of quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis indicated that the transcription levels of the transcriptional regulation gene rfaH and the virulence genes kpsM, chuA, and iss were significantly decreased compared to those of the wild-type strain. Macrophage infection assays showed that the mutant strains reduced the replication and/or survival ability in the macrophage HD11 cell line compared to that of the parent strain, E058. However, no significant differences were observed in ingestion by macrophages and in chicken serum resistance between the mutant and the wild-type strains. These data indicate that the tmRNA-SmpB system is important in the pathogenesis of APEC O2 strain E058.
Since 2003, H5N1-subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) with both a deletion of 20 amino acids in the stalk of the neuraminidase (NA) glycoprotein (A−) and a deletion of five amino acids at positions 80 to 84 in the non-structural protein NS1 (S−) have become predominant. To understand the influence of these double deletions in the NA and NS1 proteins on the pathogenicity of H5N1-subtype AIVs, we selected A/mallard/Huadong/S/2005 as a parental strain to generate rescued wild-type A−S− and three variants (A−S+ with a five-amino-acid insertion in the NS1 protein, A+S− with a 20-amino-acid insertion in the NA stalk, and A+S+ with insertions in both NA and NS1 proteins) and evaluated their biological characteristics and virulence. The titers of the AIVs with A− and/or S− replicated in DEF cells were higher than that of A+S+, and the A−S− virus exhibited a replication predominance when co-infected with the other variants in DEF cells. In addition, A−S− induced a more significant increase in the expression of immune-related genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of mallard ducks in vitro compared with the other variants. Furthermore, an insertion in the NA and/or NS1 proteins of AIVs resulted in a notable decrease in virulence in ducks, as determined by intravenous pathogenicity index, and the two insertions exerted a synergistic effect on the attenuation of pathogenicity in ducks. In addition, compared with A+S+ and A+S−, the A−S+ and A−S− viruses that were introduced via the intranasal inoculation route exhibited a faster replication ability in the lungs of ducks. These data indicate that both the deletions in the NA stalk and the NS1 protein contribute to the high pathogenicity of H5N1 AIVs in ducks.
Most highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses cause only mild clinical signs in ducks, serving as an important natural reservoir of influenza A viruses. However, we isolated two H5N1 viruses that are genetically similar but differ greatly in virulence in ducks. A/Chicken/Jiangsu/k0402/2010 (CK10) is highly pathogenic, whereas A/Goose/Jiangsu/k0403/2010 (GS10) is low pathogenic. To determine the genetic basis for the high virulence of CK10 in ducks, we generated a series of single-gene reassortants between CK10 and GS10 and tested their virulence in ducks. Expression of the CK10 PA or hemagglutinin (HA) gene in the GS10 context resulted in increased virulence and virus replication. Conversely, inclusion of the GS10 PA or HA gene in the CK10 background attenuated the virulence and virus replication. Moreover, the PA gene had a greater contribution. We further determined that residues 101G and 237E in the PA gene contribute to the high virulence of CK10. Mutations at these two positions produced changes in virulence, virus replication, and polymerase activity of CK10 or GS10. Position 237 plays a greater role in determining these phenotypes. Moreover, the K237E mutation in the GS10 PA gene increased PA nuclear accumulation. Mutant GS10 viruses carrying the CK10 HA gene or the PA101G or PA237E mutation induced an enhanced innate immune response. A sustained innate response was detected in the brain rather than in the lung and spleen. Our results suggest that the PA and HA gene-mediated high virus replication and the intense innate immune response in the brain contribute to the high virulence of H5N1 virus in ducks.
Influenza A viruses, including H1N1 and H5N1 subtypes, pose a serious threat to public health. Neuraminidase (NA)-related immunity contributes to protection against influenza virus infection. Antibodies to the N1 subtype provide protection against homologous and heterologous H1N1 as well as H5N1 virus challenge. Since neither the strain-specific nor conserved epitopes of N1 have been identified, we generated a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that exhibit different reactivity spectra with H1N1 and H5N1 viruses and used these MAbs to map N1 antigenic domains. We identified 12 amino acids essential for MAb binding to the NA of a recent seasonal H1N1 virus, A/Brisbane/59/2007. Of these, residues 248, 249, 250, 341, and 343 are recognized by strain-specific group A MAbs, while residues 273, 338, and 339 are within conserved epitope(s), which allows cross-reactive group B MAbs to bind the NAs of seasonal H1N1 and the 1918 and 2009 pandemic (09pdm) H1N1 as well as H5N1 viruses. A single dose of group B MAbs administered prophylactically fully protected mice against lethal challenge with seasonal and 09pdm H1N1 viruses and resulted in significant protection against the highly pathogenic wild-type H5N1 virus. Another three N1 residues (at positions 396, 397, and 456) are essential for binding of cross-reactive group E MAbs, which differ from group B MAbs in that they do not bind 09pdm H1N1 viruses. The identification of conserved N1 epitopes reveals the molecular basis for NA-mediated immunity between H1N1 and H5N1 viruses and demonstrates the potential for developing broadly protective NA-specific antibody treatments for influenza.
Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) infection causes avian colibacillosis, which refers to any localized or systemic infection, such as acute fatal septicemia or subacute pericarditis and airsacculitis. The RfaH transcriptional regulator in E. coli is known to regulate a number of phenotypic traits. The direct effect of RfaH on the virulence of APEC has not been investigated yet. Our results showed that the inactivation of rfaH significantly decreased the virulence of APEC E058. The attenuation was assessed by in vivo and in vitro assays, including chicken infection assays, an ingestion and intracellular survival assay, and a bactericidal assay with serum complement. The virulence phenotype was restored to resemble that of the wild type by complementation of the rfaH gene in trans. The results of the quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis and animal system infection experiments indicated that the deletion of rfaH correlated with decreased virulence of the APEC E058 strain.
We characterized 7 highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses isolated from poultry in China during 2009–2012 and found that they belong to clade 2.3.4 but do not fit within the 3 defined subclades. Antigenic drift in subtype H5N1 variants may reduce the efficacy of vaccines designed to control these viruses in poultry.
influenza; avian influenza virus; clade 2.3.4; China; clade; influenza virus; flu; H5; H5N1; highly pathogenic; viruses; avian; AIV; phylogeny; chickens; birds; HPAI
Highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A virus remains a substantial threat to public health. To understand the molecular basis and host mechanism for the high virulence of H5N1 viruses in mammals, we compared two H5N1 isolates which have similar genetic backgrounds but greatly differ in their virulence in mice. A/Chicken/Jiangsu/k0402/2010 (CK10) is highly pathogenic, whereas A/Goose/Jiangsu/k0403/2010 (GS10) is nonpathogenic. We first showed that CK10 elicited a more potent innate immune response than did GS10 in mouse lungs by increasing the number and expression levels of activated genes. We then generated a series of reassortants between the two viruses and evaluated their virulence in mice. Inclusion of the CK10 PA gene in the GS10 background resulted in a dramatic increase in virulence. Conversely, expression of the GS10 PA gene in the CK10 background significantly attenuated the virulence. These results demonstrated that the PA gene mainly determines the pathogenicity discrepancy between CK10 and GS10 in mice. We further determined that arginine (R) at position 353 of the PA gene contributes to the high virulence of CK10 in mice. The reciprocal substitution at position 353 in PA or the exchange of the entire PA gene largely caused the transfer of viral phenotypes, including virus replication, polymerase activity, and manipulation of the innate response, between CK10 and GS10. We therefore defined a novel molecular marker associated with the high virulence of H5N1 influenza viruses, providing further insights into the pathogenesis of H5N1 viruses in mammals.
In this study, the complete genomic sequence of a novel reassortant H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) from domestic ducks in eastern China was reported. Phylogenetic analysis showed that seven of the eight genes were all highly homologous to the chicken-origin H9N2 viruses, whereas the PB2 gene was homologous to the human-origin H1N1 virus, which suggested that domestic ducks might play a key role in the genetic reassortment and evolution of H9N2 AIVs in eastern China.
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.
For the first time we report the complete genomic sequence of an H11N3 influenza virus from domestic ducks in China. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the H11N3 virus was a novel reassortant with its genes from different subtypes of domestic duck-origin avian influenza viruses, which further underlined that domestic ducks play a key role in the genetic reassortment and evolution of influenza viruses in China.
Here, we report the genomic sequence of a Chinese reassortant H5N2 avian influenza virus which possessed the polybasic motif PLREKRRK-R/GL at the hemagglutinin cleavage site. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all eight genes were of the Eurasian lineage, five of which were highly homologous to the endemic clade 2.3.4 H5N1 viruses and their H5N5 reassortant descendants. These data suggested that novel multisubtypic NA reassortants bearing the H5N1 backbone could be generated through genetic reassortment in H5N1 circulating regions, which will help in understanding the evolution and segment reassortment mechanism of H5 subtype avian influenza viruses.
The H3 subtype avian influenza virus (AIV) can provide genes for human influenza virus through gene reassortment, which raises great concerns in terms of its potential threat to human health. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a novel H3N2 AIV isolated from domestic ducks in the Jiangsu province of eastern China in 2004, which is a natural recombinant virus whose genes are derived from H3N8, H5N1, H5N2, H11N2, H4N6, and H1N1 AIVs. This genome will help to understand the epidemiology and molecular characteristics of H3N2 influenza virus in eastern China.
Here, we report the complete genome sequence of an H3N6 avian influenza virus (AIV) isolated from domestic ducks in Jiangsu province of eastern China in 2010. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the H3N6 virus is a natural recombinant virus whose genes were derived from H3N8, H4N6, H6N6, H7N7, and H11N2 AIVs. This analysis will help to understand the molecular characteristics and evolution of the H3N6 influenza virus in eastern China.
Here, we report the complete genomic sequence of a novel reassortant H4N2 influenza virus isolated from domestic ducks in the Jiangsu province of China in 2011. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the viral genes except for hemagglutinin (HA) were highly homologous to the clade 2.3.4 H5N2 viruses. The data suggest that genetic reassortment occurred between H4 and H5N2 avian influenza viruses, which highlights the role of domestic poultry as a reassortment vessel in China.
Aerobactin genes are known to be present in virulent strains and absent from avirulent strains, but contributions of iucC and iucA, which are involved in aerobactin synthesis, to the pathogenicity of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) have not been clarified. In this study, effects of double mutants (iucA/iutA or iucC/iutA) compared to those of single mutants (iucA, iucC or iutA) of aerobactin genes on the virulence of APEC strain E058 were examined both in vitro (aerobactin production, ingestion into HD-11 cells, survival in chicken serum) and in vivo (competitive growth against parental strain, colonization and persistence). In competitive co-infection assays, compared to the E058 parental strain, the E058ΔiucA mutant was significantly reduced in the liver, kidney, spleen (all P<0.01), heart and lung (both P<0.001). The E058ΔiutA mutant also was significantly reduced in the liver, lung, kidney (all P<0.01), heart and spleen (both P<0.001). The E058ΔiucC mutant was significantly attenuated in the heart and kidney (both P<0.05) and showed a remarkable reduction in the liver, spleen and lung (P<0.01); meanwhile, both E058ΔiucAΔiutA and E058ΔiucCΔiutA double mutants were sharply reduced as well (P<0.001). In colonization and persistence assays, compared with E058, recovered colonies of E058ΔiucA were significantly reduced from the lung, liver, spleen and kidney (P<0.01) and significantly reduced in the heart (P<0.001). E058ΔiutA was significantly reduced from the heart, lung, liver, spleen and kidney (P<0.01). E058ΔiucC, E058ΔiucAΔiutA and E058ΔiucCΔiutA were significantly decreased in all organs tested (P<0.001). These results suggest that iutA, iucA and iucC play important roles in the pathogenicity of APEC E058.
Here, the whole genome sequences of two Newcastle disease viruses (NDV) of genotype VIII, which were isolated from west China in the 1980s, were determined and characterized phylogenetically. This is the first report with respect to the complete genomic information of genotype VIII NDV strains.
There has been multiple evidence that domestic poultry may act as a vessel for the generation of novel influenza A viruses. In this study, we have analyzed the evolution and pathogenicity of 4 H5N2 avian influenza viruses isolated from apparently healthy poultry from H5N1 virus endemic areas in China. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that two of these viruses, A/duck/Eastern China/1111/2011 (DK/EC/1111/11) and A/goose/Eastern China/1112/2011 (GS/EC/1112/11) were derived from reassortment events in which clade 2.3.4 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 viruses acquired novel neuraminidase and nonstructural protein genes. Another two isolates, A/chicken/Hebei/1102/2010 (CK/HB/1102/10) and A/duck/Hebei/0908/2009 (DK/HB/0908/09), possess hemagglutinin (HA) gene belong to clade 7 H5 viruses and other genes from endemic H9N2 viruses, or from viruses of various subtypes of the natural gene pool. All of these H5N2 isolates bear characteristic sequences of HPAI virus at the cleavage site of HA, and animal experiments indicated that all of these viruses but DK/HB/0908/09 is highly pathogenic to chickens. In particular, DK/EC/1111/11 and GS/EC/1112/11 are also highly pathogenic to ducks and moderately pathogenic to mice. All of these 4 viruses were able to replicate in domestic ducks and mice without prior adaptation. The emergence of these novel H5N2 viruses adds more evidence for the active evolution of H5 viruses in Asia. The maintenance of the highly pathogenic phenotype of some of these viruses even after reassortment with a new NA subtypes, their ability to replicate and transmit in domestic poultry, and the pathogenicity in the mammalian mouse model, highlight the potential threat posed by these viruses to both veterinary and public health.
Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates induce more severe damage to lymphoid tissues, especially to the spleen, when compared to virulent viruses of other genotypes. However, the biological basis of the unusual pathological changes remains largely unknown.
Virus replication, cytokine gene expression profile and cell death response in chicken splenocytes infected with two genotype VIId NDV strains (JS5/05 and JS3/05), genotype IX NDV strain F48E8 and genotype IV NDV strain Herts/33 were evaluated. Statistical significance of differences between experimental groups was determined using the Independent-Samples T test.
JS5/05 and JS3/05 caused hyperinduction of type I interferons (IFNs) (IFN-α and -β) during detection period compared to F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 increased expression level of IFN-γ gene at 6 h post-inoculation (pi) and JS3/05 initiated sustained activation of IFN-γ within 24 h pi, whereas transcriptional levels of IFN-γ remained unchanged at any of the time points during infection of F48E8 and Herts/33. In addition, compared to F48E8 and Herts/33, JS3/05 and JS5/05 significantly increased the amount of free nucleosomal DNA in splenocytes at 6 and 24 h pi respectively. Annexin-V and Proidium iodid (PI) double staining of infected cells showed that cell death induced by JS3/05 and JS5/05 was characterized by marked necrosis compared to F48E8 and Herts/33 at 24 h pi. These results indicate that genotype VIId NDV strains JS3/05 and JS5/05 elicited stronger innate immune and cell death responses in chicken splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 replicated at a significantly higher efficiency in splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. Early excessive cell death induced by JS3/05 infection partially impaired virus replication.
Viral dysregulaiton of host response may be relevant to the severe pathological manifestation in the spleen following genotype VIId NDV infection.
Innate immune response; Cell death; Splenic necrosis; Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus