Nemanichvili N, Berends AJ, Wubbolts RW, Gr?ne A,. Tissue Microarrays to Visualize Influenza D Attachment to Host Receptors in the Respiratory Tract of Farm Animals. Viruses. 2021 Mar 31;13(4):586
The trimeric hemagglutinin-esterase fusion protein (HEF) of influenza D virus (IDV) binds 9-O-acetylated sialic acid receptors, which are expressed in various host species. While cattle are the main reservoir for IDV, the viral genome has also been detected in domestic pigs. In addition, antibodies against IDV have been detected in other farm animals such as sheep, goats, and horses, and even in farmers working with IDV positive animals. Viruses belonging to various IDV clades circulate, but little is known about their differences in host and tissue tropism. Here we used recombinantly produced HEF proteins (HEF S57A) from the major clades D/Oklahoma (D/OK) and D/Oklahoma/660 (D/660) to study their host and tissue tropism and receptor interactions. To this end, we developed tissue microarrays (TMA) composed of respiratory tissues from various farm animals including cattle, domestic pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. Protein histochemical staining of farm animal respiratory tissue-microarrays with HEF proteins showed that cattle have receptors present over the entire respiratory tract while receptors are only present in the nasal and pharyngeal epithelium of pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. No differences in tropism for tissues and animals were observed between clades, while hemagglutination assays showed that D/OK has a 2-fold higher binding affinity than D/660 for receptors on red blood cells. The removal of O-acetylation from receptors via saponification treatment confirmed that receptor-binding of both clades was dependent on O-acetylated sialic acids.
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