3 years ago

Multiple adaptive amino acid substitutions increase the virulence of a wild waterfowl-origin reassortant H5N8 avian influenza virus in mice

A novel H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) caused poultry outbreaks in the Republic of Korea in 2014. The novel H5N8 HPAIV has spread to Asia, Europe, and North America and caused great public concern from then on. Here, we generated mouse-adapted variants of a wild waterfowl-origin H5N8 HPAIV to identify adaptive mutants that confer enhanced pathogenicity in mammals. The mouse lethal doses (MLD50) of the mouse-adapted variants were reduced 31623-fold compared to the wild-type (WT) virus. Mouse-adapted variants displayed enhanced replication in vitro and in vivo, and expanded tissue tropism in mice. Sequence analysis revealed four amino acid substitutions in the PB2 (E627K), PA (F35S), HA (R227H), and NA (I462V) proteins. These data suggest that multiple amino acid substitutions collaboratively increase the virulence of a wild bird-origin reassortant H5N8 HPAIV and cause severe disease in mice.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168170217304938

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