[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Continuing outbreaks of H5N1 highly pathogenic (HP) avian influenza virus (AIV) infections of wild birds and poultry worldwide emphasize the need for global surveillance of wild birds. To support the future surveillance activities, we developed a SYBR green-based, real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR) for detecting nucleoprotein (NP) genes and subtyping 16 hemagglutinin (HA) and 9 neuraminidase (NA) genes simultaneously. Primers were improved by focusing on Eurasian or North American lineage genes; the number of mixed-base positions per primer was set to five or fewer, and the concentration of each primer set was optimized empirically. Also, 30 cycles of amplification of 1:10 dilutions of cDNAs from cultured viruses effectively reduced minor cross- or nonspecific reactions. Under these conditions, 346 HA and 345 NA genes of 349 AIVs were detected, with average sensitivities of NP, HA, and NA genes of 10(1.5), 10(2.3), and 10(3.1) 50% egg infective doses, respectively. Utility of rRT-PCR for subtyping AIVs was compared with that of current standard serological tests by using 104 recent migratory duck virus isolates. As a result, all HA genes and 99% of the NA genes were genetically subtyped, while only 45% of HA genes and 74% of NA genes were serologically subtyped. Additionally, direct subtyping of AIVs in fecal samples was possible by 40 cycles of amplification: approximately 70% of HA and NA genes of NP gene-positive samples were successfully subtyped. This validation study indicates that rRT-PCR with optimized primers and reaction conditions is a powerful tool for subtyping varied AIVs in clinical and cultured samples.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The survival rate of Korean H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses was investigated at different temperatures under the laboratory conditions. The estimated survival days for a starting viral concentration of 10(6.5) 50% egg infectious dose/0.1 mL were 930, 1,042, and 3,213 d at 4 degrees C; 226, 232, and 293 d at 20 degrees C; and 51, 55, and 58 d at 30 degrees C for A/chicken/Korea/ES/03, A/chicken/Korea/IS/06, and A/chicken/Korea/Gimje/08 (Gimje/08) viruses, respectively. The stability of the Gimje/08 virus was statistically significant compared with the other 2 viruses except for the data between Gimje/08 and A/chicken/Korea/IS/06 virus at 30 degrees C. This result indicated that the survival rate of 3 Korean HPAI viruses is different at various temperatures, which might have partially influenced the large scale of HPAI outbreak in Korea in 2008.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analyzed the results from nationwide surveillance of avian influenza (AI) from birds in South Korea's major wild bird habitats and the demilitarized zone of South Korea, 2003-2008. Of 28,214 fecal samples analyzed, 225 yielded influenza viruses, for a prevalence of 0.8%. Hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes H1-H12 and all nine neuraminidase (NA) subtypes were detected. The dominant HA subtypes were H6, H1, and H4, and the most common NA subtypes were N2, N1, and N6. Among the 38 HA/NA subtype combinations, the most common were H4N6, H6N1, and H5N2. Thirty-seven low-pathogenic AI (LPAI) viruses of the H5 and H7 subtype were detected. Among them, we identified bird species for 16 H5- and H7-positive fecal samples using a DNA bar-coding system instituted in 2007; all birds were identified as Anseriformes. The HA gene of the H5 wild bird isolates belonged to the Eurasian avian lineage, and could be clearly distinguished from the sublineage H5N1 highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) of the Eurasian and American avian lineages. Whereas H7 LPAI viruses did not group as a separate sublineage with H7 HPAI viruses, H7 isolates were closely related with the Eurasian avian lineage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Active serologic surveillance is necessary to control the spread of the avian influenza virus (AIV). In this study, we evaluated a commercially-available cELISA in terms of its ability to detect AIV antibodies in the sera of 3,358 animals from twelve species. cELISA detected antibodies against reference H1- through H15-subtype AIV strains without cross reactivity. Furthermore, the cELISA was able to detect antibodies produced following a challenge of the AIV H9N2 subtype in chickens, or following vaccination of the AIV H9 or H5 subtypes in chickens, ducks and geese. Next, we tested the sensitivity and specificity of the cELISA with sera from twelve different animal species, and compared these results with those obtained by the hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) test, the "gold standard" in AIV sera surveillance, a second commercially-available cELISA (IZS ELISA), or the agar gel precipitation (AGP) test. Compared with the HI test, the sensitivities and specificities of cELISA were 95% and 96% in chicken, 86% and 88% in duck, 97% and 100% in turkey, 100% and 87% in goose, and 91% and 97% in swine, respectively. The sensitivities and specificities of the cELISA in this study were higher than those of IZS ELISA for the duck, turkey, goose, and grey partridge sera samples. The results of AGP test against duck and turkey sera also showed significant correlation with the results of cELISA (R-value >0.9). In terms of flock sensitivity, the cELISA correlated better with the HI test than with commercially-available indirect ELISAs, with 100% flock sensitivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence and continuous evolution of H9N2 avian influenza viruses in poultry have necessitated the use of vaccines in veterinary medicine. Because of the inadequate growth properties of some strains, additional steps are needed for producing vaccine seed virus. In this study, we generated three H9N2/PR8 reassortant viruses using a total cDNA plasmid-transfection system, as an alternative strategy for developing an avian influenza vaccine for animals. We investigated the vaccine potency of the reassortant viruses compared with the existing vaccine strain which was adapted by the 20th serial passages in embryonated eggs with A/Ck/Kor/01310/01 (H9N2). The H9N2/PR8 reassortant viruses, containing the internal genes of the high-yielding PR8 strain and the surface gene of the A/Ck/Kor/01310/01 strain, could be propagated in eggs to the same extent as existing vaccine strain without additional processing. Similar to vaccine strain, the H9N2/PR8 reassortant viruses induced hemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies in chickens and prevented virus shedding and replication in multiple organs in response to homologous infection. However, due to the continuing evolution and increasing biologic diversity of H9N2 influenza in Korea, the vaccine provided only partial protection against currently isolates. Taken together, our results suggest that the H9N2/PR8 reassortant virus can be used as a seed virus for avian influenza vaccines in poultry farm. Considering the constant genetic changes in H9 strains isolated in Korea, this reverse genetic system may offer a prompt and simple way to change the vaccine seed virus and mitigate the impact of unexpected influenza outbreaks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The H9N2 subtype low pathogenic avian influenza is one of the most prevalent avian diseases worldwide, and was first documented in 1996 in Korea. This disease caused serious economic loss in Korea's poultry industry.
In order to develop an oil-based inactivated vaccine, a virus that had been isolated in 2001 (A/chicken/Korea/01310/2001) was selected based on its pathogenic, antigenic, and genetic properties. However, in animal experiments, the efficacy of the vaccine was found to be very low without concentration of the antigen (27 to 210 hemagglutinin unit). In order to overcome the low productivity, we passaged the vaccine candidate virus to chicken eggs. After the 20th passage, the virus was approximately ten times more productive compared with the parent virus. For the most part, the passaged virus maintained the hemagglutinin cleavage site amino acid motif (PATSGR/GLF) and had only three amino acid changes (T133N, V216G, E439D, H3 numbering) in the hemagglutinin molecule, as well as 18 amino acid deletions (55-72) and one amino acid change (E54D) in the NA stalk region. The amino acid changes did not significantly affect the antigenicity of the vaccine virus when tested by hemagglutination inhibition assay. Though not complete, the vaccine produced after the 20th passage of the virus (01310 CE20) showed good protection against a homologous and recent Korean isolate (A/chicken/Korea/Q30/2004) in specific pathogen- free chickens.
The vaccine developed in this study would be helpful for controlling the H9N2 LPAI in Korea.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2004 Asian H5N1 epizootic outbreak indicates the urgent need for vaccines against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. The manufacture of inactivated whole-virus vaccines from HPAI viruses by traditional methods is not feasible for safety reasons as well as technical issues. The low pathogenic avian influenza A/wild bird feces/CSM2/02 (H5N3) virus was used as a heterologous neuraminidase vaccine, and HPAI A/CK/Korea/ES/03 (H5N1) virus was used as a homologous neuraminidase vaccine. Protection efficacy of both vaccines was evaluated by clinical signs, mortality rates, and virus shedding from oropharynx and cloaca of vaccinated chickens after challenge with HPAI A/CK/Korea/ES/03 (H5N1) virus. One dose of 128 hemagglutinin (HA) homologous H5N1 vaccine induced 100% protection in mortality and prevented viral shedding completely after lethal dose virus challenge, whereas one dose of 64 HA unit of heterologous H5N3 vaccine only induced 50% protection in mortality, and it did not prevent viral shedding. However, two doses at a 3-wk interval of 64 HA unit of heterologous H5N3 vaccine as well as one dose of 1024 HA unit of heterologous H5N3 vaccine induced 100% survival rate and could prevent viral shedding completely. Furthermore, we could differentiate the sera of infected birds from those of vaccinated birds by indirect immunofluorescent antibody test. These results suggest that heterologous neuraminidase H5N3 vaccine could be a useful tool for the control of H5N1 HPAI epidemic in poultry.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low pathogenic avian influenza subtype H9N8 was diagnosed on a Korean native chicken farm in Gyeonggi province, South Korea, in late April 2004. Clinical signs included moderate respiratory distress, depression, mild diarrhoea, loss of appetite and a slightly elevated mortality (1.4% in 5 days). Pathologically, mucopurulent tracheitis and air sacculitis were prominently found with urate renal deposition. The isolated A/chicken/Kr/164/04 (H9N8) had an Ala-Ser-Gly-Arg (A/S/G/R) motif at the cleavage site of haemagglutinin, which has been commonly found in H9N2 isolated from Korean poultry. Phylogenetic analysis of the haemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes of the H9N8 avian influenza virus (AIV) isolate showed that reassortment had occurred. Its haemagglutinin gene was similar to that of Korean H9N2 AIVs, but its neuraminidase gene was closely related to that of A/WBF/Kr/KCA16/03 (H3N8) isolated from the faeces of wild birds in Korea. The pathogenicity of the isolate was tested on 6-week-old specific pathogen free chickens. The inoculated virus (H9N8) was recovered from most tested organs, including the trachea, lung, kidney, spleen, and caecal tonsil. This is the first report of an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza in chickens caused by AIV subtype H9N8.