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2020-8-11 0:01:22


Chan M, et al. H7N9 Influenza Virus Containing a Polybasic HA Cleavage Site Requires Minimal Host Adaptation to Obtain a Highly Pathogenic Disease Phenotype in Mice. Viruses. 2020 Jan 5;12(1).
submited by kickingbird at Jan, 19, 2020 8:35 AM from Viruses. 2020 Jan 5;12(1).

Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H7N9 viruses have recently evolved to gain a polybasic cleavage site in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein, resulting in variants with increased lethality in poultry that meet the criteria for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses. Both LPAI and HPAI variants can cause severe disease in humans (case fatality rate of ~40%). Here, we investigated the virulence of HPAI H7N9 viruses containing a polybasic HA cleavage site (H7N9-PBC) in mice. Inoculation of mice with H7N9-PBC did not result in observable disease; however, mice inoculated with a mouse-adapted version of this virus, generated by a single passage in mice, caused uniformly lethal disease. In addition to the PBC site, we identified three other mutations that are important for host-adaptation and virulence in mice: HA (A452T), PA (D347G), and PB2 (M483K). Using reverse genetics, we confirmed that the HA mutation was the most critical for increased virulence in mice. Our study identifies additional disease determinants in a mammalian model for HPAI H7N9 virus. Furthermore, the ease displayed by the virus to adapt to a new host highlights the potential for H7N9-PBC viruses to rapidly acquire mutations that may enhance their risk to humans or other animal species.

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