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Host Innate Immune Response of Geese Infected with Clade 2.3.4.4 H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses

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  • Host Innate Immune Response of Geese Infected with Clade 2.3.4.4 H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses


    Microorganisms. 2020 Feb 7;8(2). pii: E224. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms8020224. Host Innate Immune Response of Geese Infected with Clade 2.3.4.4 H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses.

    Wu S1, Huang J1, Huang Q2, Zhang J1, Liu J1, Xue Q1, Li W1, Liao M1, Jiao P1.
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    Abstract

    Since 2014, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N6 viruses have circulated in waterfowls and caused human infections in China, posing significant threats to the poultry industry and the public health. However, the genetics, pathogenicity and innate immune response of H5N6 HPAIVs in geese remain largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the genetic characteristic of the two H5N6 viruses (GS38 and DK09) isolated from apparently healthy domestic goose and duck in live poultry markets (LPMs) of Southern China in 2016. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the HA genes of the two H5N6 viruses belonged to clade 2.3.4.4 and were clustered into the MIX-like group. The MIX-like group viruses have circulated in regions such as China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The NA genes of the two H5N6 viruses were classified into the Eurasian sublineage. The internal genes including PB2, PB1, PA, NP, M, and NS of the two H5N6 viruses derived from the MIX-like. Therefore, our results suggested that the two H5N6 viruses were reassortants of the H5N1 and H6N6 viruses and likely derived from the same ancestor. Additionally, we evaluated the pathogenicity and transmission of the two H5N6 viruses in domestic geese. Results showed that both the two viruses caused serious clinical symptoms in all inoculated geese and led to high mortality in these birds. Both the two viruses were transmitted efficiently to contact geese and caused lethal infection in these birds. Furthermore, we found that mRNA of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), interferons (IFNs), and stimulated genes (ISGs) exhibited different levels of activation in the lungs and spleens of the two H5N6 viruses-inoculated geese though did not protect these birds from H5N6 HPAIVs infection. Our results suggested that the clade 2.3.4.4 waterfowl-origin H5N6 HPAIVs isolated from LPMs of Southern China could cause high mortality in geese and innate immune-related genes were involved in the geese innate immune response to H5N6 HPAIVs infection. Therefore, we should pay more attention to the evolution, pathogenic variations of these viruses and enhance virological surveillance of clade 2.3.4.4 H5N6 HPAIVs in waterfowls in China.


    KEYWORDS:

    H5N6; genetics; goose; host innate immune response; pathogenicity

    PMID: 32046051 DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8020224
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