Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection is expanding and results in regular epizootic activities in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a field strain of PPRV isolated in Senegal (SnDk11I13) in 2013.
Avian influenza viruses are circulating continuously in ducks, inducing a mostly asymptomatic infection, while chickens are accidental hosts highly susceptible to respiratory disease. This discrepancy might be due to a different host response to the virus between these two bird species and in particular to a different susceptibility to reinfection. In an attempt to address this question, we analyzed, in ducks and in chickens, the viral load in infected tissues and the humoral immune response after experimental primary and secondary challenge infections with either homologous or heterologous low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV). Following homologous reinfection, ducks were only partially protected against viral shedding in the lower intestine in conjunction with a moderate antibody response, whereas chickens were totally protected against viral shedding in the upper respiratory airways and developed a stronger antibody response. On the contrary, heterologous reinfection was not followed by a reduced viral excretion in the upper airways of chickens, while ducks were still partially protected from intestinal excretion of the virus, with no correlation to the antibody response. Our comparative study provides a comprehensive demonstration of the variation of viral tropism and control of the host humoral response to LPAIV between two different bird species with different degrees of susceptibility to avian influenza.
For decades, French guinea fowl have been affected by fulminating enteritis of unclear origin. By using metagenomics, we identified a novel avian gammacoronavirus associated with this disease that is distantly related to turkey coronaviruses. Fatal respiratory diseases in humans have recently been caused by coronaviruses of animal origin.
We studied the sub-population level evolution of a duck influenza A virus isolate during passage in swine tracheal cells. The complete genomes of the A/mallard/Netherlands/10-Nmkt/1999 strain and its swine cell-passaged descendent were analysed by 454 pyrosequencing with coverage depth ranging from several hundred to several thousand reads at any point. This allowed characterization of defined minority sub-populations of gene segments 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 present in the original isolate. These minority sub-populations ranged between 9.5% (for segment 2) and 46% (for segment 4) of their respective gene segments in the parental stock. They were likely contributed by one or more viruses circulating within the same area, at the same period and in the same or a sympatric host species. The minority sub-populations of segments 3, 4, and 5 became extinct upon viral passage in swine cells, whereas the minority sub-populations of segments 2, 7 and 8 completely replaced their majority counterparts. The swine cell-passaged virus was therefore a three-segment reassortant and also harboured point mutations in segments 3 and 4. The passaged virus was more homogenous than the parental stock, with only 17 minority single nucleotide polymorphisms present above 5% frequency across the whole genome. Though limited here to one sample, this deep sequencing approach highlights the evolutionary versatility of influenza viruses whereby they exploit their genetic diversity, predilection for mixed infection and reassortment to adapt to a new host environmental niche.
Large-scale sequence analyses of influenza viruses revealed that nonstructural 1 (NS1) proteins from avian influenza viruses have a conserved C-terminal ESEV amino acid motif, while NS1 proteins from typical human influenza viruses have a C-terminal RSKV motif. To test the influence of the C-terminal domains of NS1 on the virulence of an avian influenza virus, we generated a wild-type H7N1 virus with an ESEV motif and a mutant virus with an NS1 protein containing a C-terminal RSKV motif by reverse genetics. We compared the phenotypes of these viruses in vitro in human, mouse, and duck cells as well as in vivo in mice and ducks. In human cells, the human C-terminal RSKV domain increased virus replication. In contrast, the avian C-terminal ESEV motif of NS1 increased virulence in mice. We linked this increase in pathogenicity in mice to an increase in virus replication and to a more severe lung inflammation associated with a higher level of production of type I interferons. Interestingly, the human C-terminal RSKV motif of NS1 increased viral replication in ducks. H7N1 virus with a C-terminal RSKV motif replicated to higher levels in ducks and induced higher levels of Mx, a type I interferon-stimulated gene. Thus, we identify the C-terminal domain of NS1 as a species-specific virulence domain.
8-OH-DPAT [8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin] is the prototypical agonist at serotonin 5-HT1A receptors; however, activity at other targets contributes to the functional effects of the compound as well. We examined the properties of 8-OH-DPAT and its enantiomers at recombinant human (h)alpha2-adrenoceptor subtypes, using a panel of radioligand binding and functional tests. In competition binding experiments using [3H]-RX821002, about 10-fold selectivity of (+)8-OH-DPAT for the halpha2B subtype (pKi about 7) over halpha2A- and halpha2C-adrenoceptors was observed. In contrast, the S(-) enantiomer of 8-OH-DPAT showed similar weak affinities for the three receptor subtypes (pKis<6). The binding affinity of (+)8-OH-DPAT at the halpha2B- and the halpha2A-adrenoceptor was found sensitive to GTPgammaS, a receptor/G protein-uncoupling agent, indicating agonist properties of the drug. Furthermore, using [35S]GTPgammaS binding determination at CHO-halpha2B or CHO-halpha2A cell membranes and G protein coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) current recordings in Xenopus oocytes expressing halpha2B, partial agonist activity of (+)8-OH-DPAT at the respective receptors was confirmed in these two different functional assays. Potency of (+)8-OH-DPAT for stimulation of [35S]GTPgammaS incorporation was lower at the halpha2A- than at the halpha2B-adrenoceptor, consistent with binding affinities. Thus, (+)8-OH-DPAT and, as a consequence, racemic (+/-)8-OH-DPAT are partial agonists at halpha2-adrenoceptors with selectivity for the halpha2B subtype, a property that might contribute to the effects of the compound described in native systems.
Based on a case observed and investigated on a commercial turkey farm in western France in 81-day-old birds, we report the pattern of H6N1 low-pathogenic avian influenza in this species. Diseased birds displayed an acute severe dyspnoea, leading to death by asphyxia of more than 5% of the flock. The most specific pathological feature was a constant diffuse infraorbital sinusitis, along with a focal necrotic exudate inside the lumen of the upper respiratory tract, characterized microscopically as a mixed fibrinous and leucocytic material. Influenza A immunohistochemistry revealed an intense staining of epithelial cells in tracheas, bronchi, air sacs and their luminal necrotic material. While no primary bacterial infection could be detected from diseased turkeys, influenza H6 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis performed on tracheal swabs tested positive. Direct sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the eight segments showed that this H6N1 virus clustered closely within West European mallards (group 3) H6 genotypes. A thorough analysis of genetic databases suggests that a regional waterfowl reservoir is likely to play a central role in H6 introductions in poultry farms, whose pathways remain to be elucidated.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N1 viruses caused a series of epizootics in Italy between 1999 and 2001. The emergence of these HPAI viruses coincided with the deletion of the six amino acids R(225)VESEV(230) at the C terminus of NS1. In order to assess how the truncation of NS1 affected virus replication, we used reverse genetics to generate a wild-type low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H7N1 virus with a 230aa NS1 (H7N1(230)) and a mutant virus with a truncated NS1 (H7N1(224)). The 6aa truncation had no impact on virus replication in duck or chicken cells in vitro. The H7N1(230) and H7N1(224) viruses also replicated to similar levels and induced similar immune responses in ducks or chickens. No significant histological lesions were detected in infected ducks, regardless of the virus inoculated. However, in chickens, the H7N1(230) virus induced a more severe interstitial pneumonia than did the H7N1(224) virus. These findings indicate that the C-terminal extremity of NS1, including the PDZ-binding motif ESEV, is dispensable for efficient replication of an LPAI virus in ducks and chickens, even though it may increase virulence in chickens, as revealed by the intensity of the histological lesions.
Adaptation of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) from waterfowl to domestic poultry with a deletion in the neuraminidase (NA) stalk has already been reported. The way the virus undergoes this evolution, however, is thus far unclear. We address this question using pyrosequencing of duck and turkey low-pathogenicity AIVs. Ducks and turkeys were sampled at the very beginning of an H6N1 outbreak, and turkeys were swabbed again 8 days later. NA stalk deletions were evidenced in turkeys by Sanger sequencing. To further investigate viral evolution, 454 pyrosequencing was performed: for each set of samples, up to 41,500 reads of ca. 400 bp were generated and aligned. Genetic polymorphisms between duck and turkey viruses were tracked on the whole genome. NA deletion was detected in less than 2% of reads in duck feces but in 100% of reads in turkey tracheal specimens collected at the same time. Further variations in length were observed in NA from turkeys 8 days later. Similarly, minority mutants emerged on the hemagglutinin (HA) gene, with substitutions mostly in the receptor binding site on the globular head. These critical changes suggest a strong evolutionary pressure in turkeys. The increasing performances of next-generation sequencing technologies should enable us to monitor the genomic diversity of avian influenza viruses and early emergence of potentially pathogenic variants within bird flocks. The present study, based on 454 pyrosequencing, suggests that NA deletion, an example of AIV adaptation from waterfowl to domestic poultry, occurs by selection rather than de novo emergence of viral mutants.
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