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Comparative molecular characterization, pathogenicity and seroprevalence of avian influenza virus H9N2 in commercial and backyard poultry flocks

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  • Comparative molecular characterization, pathogenicity and seroprevalence of avian influenza virus H9N2 in commercial and backyard poultry flocks

    Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019 Jun;64:81-89. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2019.02.011. Epub 2019 Mar 5.
    Comparative molecular characterization, pathogenicity and seroprevalence of avian influenza virus H9N2 in commercial and backyard poultry flocks.

    Eladl AH1, Alzayat AA2, Ali HS3, Fahmy HA4, Ellakany HF5.
    Author information

    Abstract

    This study was conducted to perform the comparative molecular characterization of avian influenza virus (AIV) H9N2, pathogenicity and seroprevalence in commercial and backyard poultry flocks. Fifty commercial poultry flocks were investigated between 2012 and 2015. Eighteen flocks (36%) out of 50 were positive HA. Seven (38.9%) out of 18 were positive by chromatographic strip test for AI common antigen. By Real-time RT-PCR, only two flocks were positive H9. The molecular characterization of two different AI-H9N2 viruses, one isolated from a broiler flock (A/chicken/Egypt/Mansoura-18/2013) and the other from a layer flock (A/chicken/Egypt/Mansoura-36/2015) was conducted on HA gene. Moreover, a higher seroprevalence, using the broiler strain as a known antigen, was shown in backyard chicken flocks 15/26 (57.7%) than duck flocks 9/74 (12.2%). Interestingly, the pathogenicity index (PI) of the H9N2 broiler strain in inoculated experimental chickens ranged from 1.2 (oculonasal route) to 1.9 (Intravenous route). The PI indicated a highly pathogenic effect, with high mortality (up to 100%) in the inoculated chickens correlated with the high mortality (80%) in the flock where the virus was isolated. The firstly recorded clinical signs, including cyanosis in the combs and wattles and subcutaneous haemorrhages in the leg shanks and lesions, as well as histopathology and immunohistochemistry, revealed a systemic infection of the high pathogenicity with the H9N2 virus. Conversely, the H9N2 layer strain showed a low pathogenicity. In conclusion, as a first report, the molecular analysis and pathogenicity of the tested strains confirmed the presence of a high pathogenicity AIV-H9N2 with systemic infections.
    Copyright 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    KEYWORDS:

    AIV-H9N2; Molecular characterization; Pathogenicity; Seroprevalence

    PMID: 31174705 DOI: 10.1016/j.cimid.2019.02.011
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