Rimondi A, Olivera VS, Soria I, Parisi GD, Rumbo M. Few Amino Acid Mutations in H6 Influenza A Virus From South American Lineage Increase Viral Replication Efficiency in Poultry. Front Microbiol. 2022 Jul 27;13:953738
In chickens, infections due to influenza A virus (IAV) can be mild to severe and lethal. The study of IAV infections in poultry has been mostly limited to strains from the North American and Eurasian lineages, whereas limited information exists on similar studies with strains from the South American lineage (SAm). To better evaluate the risk of introduction of a prototypical SAm IAV strain into poultry, chickens were infected with a wild-type SAm origin strain (WT557/H6N2). The resulting virus progeny was serially passaged in chickens 20 times, and the immunopathological effects of the last passage virus, 20Ch557/H6N2, in chickens were compared to those of the parental strain. A comparison of complete viral genome sequences indicated that the 20Ch557/H6N2 strain contained 13 amino acid differences compared to the wild-type strain. Five of these mutations are in functionally relevant regions of the viral surface glycoproteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). However, despite higher and more prolonged virus shedding in chickens inoculated with the 20Ch557/H6N2 strain compared to those that received the WT557/H6N2 strain, transmission to na?ve chickens was not observed for either group. Analyses by flow cytometry of mononuclear cells and lymphocyte subpopulations from the lamina propria and intraepithelial lymphocytic cells (IELs) from the ileum revealed a significant increase in the percentages of CD3+TCRγδ+ IELs in chickens inoculated with the 20Ch557/H6N2 strain compared to those inoculated with the WT557/H6N2 strain.
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