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2020-7-7 3:19:32

Belser JA, Sun X, Brock N, et al. Mammalian Pathogenicity and Transmissibility of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza H7N1 and H7N3 Viruses Isolated From North America in 2018. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020;9(1):1037‐1045
submited by kickingbird at May, 27, 2020 0:57 AM from Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020;9(1):1037‐1045

ABSTRACTLow pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H7 subtype viruses are infrequently, but persistently, associated with outbreaks in poultry in North America. These LPAI outbreaks provide opportunities for the virus to develop enhanced virulence and transmissibility in mammals and have previously resulted in both occasional acquisition of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) phenotype in birds and sporadic cases of human infection. Two notable LPAI H7 subtype viruses caused outbreaks in 2018 in North America: LPAI H7N1 virus in chickens and turkeys, representing the first confirmed H7N1 infection in poultry farms in the United States, and LPAI H7N3 virus in turkeys, a virus subtype often associated with LPAI-to-HPAI phenotypes. Here, we investigated the replication capacity of representative viruses from these outbreaks in human respiratory tract cells and mammalian pathogenicity and transmissibility in the mouse and ferret models. We found that the LPAI H7 viruses replicated to high titre in human cells, reaching mean peak titres generally comparable to HPAI H7 viruses. Replication was efficient in both mammalian species, causing mild infection, with virus primarily limited to respiratory tract tissues. The H7 viruses demonstrated a capacity to transmit to na?ve ferrets in a direct contact setting. These data support the need to perform routine risk assessments of LPAI H7 subtype viruses, even in the absence of confirmed human infection.

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