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2020-8-10 23:30:39

Hu M, Yang G, DeBeauchamp J, et al. HA Stabilization Promotes Replication and Transmission of Swine H1N1 Gamma Influenza Viruses in Ferrets. Elife. 2020;9:e56236.
submited by kickingbird at Jul, 2, 2020 12:33 PM from Elife. 2020;9:e56236.

Pandemic influenza A viruses can emerge from swine, an intermediate host that supports adaptation of human-preferred receptor-binding specificity by the hemagglutinin (HA) surface antigen. Other HA traits necessary for pandemic potential are poorly understood. For swine influenza viruses isolated in 2009-2016, gamma-clade viruses had less stable HA proteins (activation pH 5.5-5.9) than pandemic clade (pH 5.0-5.5). Gamma-clade viruses replicated to higher levels in mammalian cells than pandemic clade. In ferrets, a model for human adaptation, a relatively stable HA protein (pH 5.5-5.6) was necessary for efficient replication and airborne transmission. The overall airborne transmission frequency in ferrets for four isolates tested was 42%, and isolate G15 airborne transmitted 100% after selection of a variant with a stabilized HA. The results suggest swine influenza viruses containing both a stabilized HA and alpha-2,6 receptor binding in tandem pose greater pandemic risk. Increasing evidence supports adding HA stability to pre-pandemic risk assessment algorithms.

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