I H Brown

Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (128)423.21 Total impact

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    The Veterinary record 07/2014; · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has retained its ability to infect swine whilst developing the ability to transmit effectively between humans, thus making the pig a valuable model for studying disease pathogenesis in both species. Lung lesions in pigs caused by infection with influenza A viruses vary in both their severity and distribution with individual lung lobes exhibiting lesions at different stages of infection pathogenic development and disease resolution. Consequently, investigating interactions between the virus and host and their implications for disease pathogenesis can be complicated. Studies were undertaken to investigate the discrete expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators during lung lesion formation in pigs during infection with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 (A/Hamburg/05/09) virus. Laser capture microdissection was used to identify and select lung lobules containing lesions at different stages of development. Dissected samples were analysed using quantitative RT-PCR to assess pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine mRNA transcripts. Differential expression of the immune mediators IL-8, IL-10 and IFN-γ was observed depending upon the lesion stage assessed. Upregulation of IFN-γ, IL-8 and IL-10 mRNA was observed in stage 2 lesions, whereas decreased mRNA expression was observed in stage 3 lesions, with IL-8 actively downregulated when compared with controls in both stage 3 and stage 4 lesions. This study highlighted the value of using laser capture microdissection to isolate specific tissue regions and investigate subtle differences in cytokine mRNA expression during lesion development in pigs infected with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.
    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 06/2014; · 2.10 Impact Factor
  • The Veterinary record 05/2014; 174(21):534-5. · 1.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The divergence of the hemagglutinin gene of A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996-lineage H5N1 viruses during 2011 and 2012 (807 new sequences collected through December 31, 2012) was analyzed by phylogenetic and p-distance methods to define new clades using the pre-established nomenclature system. Eight new clade designations were recommended based on division of clade 1.1 (Mekong River Delta), (Indonesia), 2.2.2 (India/Bangladesh), (Egypt/Israel), and (Asia). A simplification to the previously defined criteria, which adds a letter rather than number to the right-most digit of fifth-order clades, was proposed to facilitate this and future updates.
    Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 01/2014; · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) viruses of the H7 subtype generally cause mild disease in poultry. However the evolution of a LPAI virus into highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus results in the generation of a virus that can cause severe disease and death. The classification of these two pathotypes is based, in part, on disease signs and death in chickens, as assessed in an intravenous pathogenicity test, but the effect of LPAI viruses in turkeys is less well understood. During an investigation of LPAI virus infection of turkeys, groups of three-week-old birds inoculated with A/chicken/Italy/1279/99 (H7N1) showed severe disease signs and died or were euthanised within seven days of infection. Virus was detected in many internal tissues and organs from culled birds. To examine the possible evolution of the infecting virus to a highly pathogenic form in these turkeys, sequence analysis of the haemagglutinin (HA) gene cleavage site was carried out by analysing multiple cDNA amplicons made from swabs and tissue sample extracts employing Sanger and Next Generation Sequencing. In addition, a RT-PCR assay to detect HPAI virus was developed. There was no evidence of the presence of HPAI virus in either the virus used as inoculum or from swabs taken from infected birds. However, a small proportion (<0.5%) of virus carried in individual tracheal or liver samples did contain a molecular signature typical of a HPAI virus at the HA cleavage site. All the signature sequences were identical and were similar to HPAI viruses collected during the Italian epizootic in 1999/2000. We assume that the detection of HPAI virus in tissue samples following infection with A/chicken/Italy/1279/99 reflected amplification of a virus present at very low levels within the mixed inoculum but, strikingly, we observed no new HPAI virus signatures in the amplified DNA analysed by deep-sequencing.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87076. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure of a virulent isolate of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) and two highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, one of H7N1 subtype and the other H5N1 subtype, to a continuous ultraviolet B flux of approximately 90µW/cm(2), which models solar ultraviolet radiation, resulted in an exponential decline in infectivity with time. The time taken for a reduction in titre of 1 log10 median tissue culture infectious dose for each virus was: NDV, 69 min; H7N1 HPAI virus, 158 min; and H5N1 HPAI, virus 167 min.
    Avian Pathology 11/2013; · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pigs are thought to play a role in the adaptation of avian influenza (AI) viruses to mammalian hosts. To better understand this mechanism and to identify key mutations two highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) viruses (H5N1 and H7N7) were grown in pig cells, To mimic the pressure of an immune response, these viruses were grown in the presence of antiserum to the homologous virus or porcine IFN-γ. Mutations were identified in both viruses grown in vitro in the presence and absence of antisera or IFN-γ and included the PB2 mutations, E627K or 627E,D701N, described previously as requirements for the adaptation of AI viruses to mammalian species. Additional mutations were also identified in PB1, HA, NP and M genes for viruses passaged in the presence of immune pressure. The infectivity of these viruses was then assessed using ex vivo pig bronchi and lung organ cultures. For lung explants, higher levels of virus were detected in organ cultures infected with H5N1 HPAI viruses passaged in pig cell lines regardless of the presence or absence of homologous antisera or IFN-γ when compared with the wild-type parental viruses. No infection was observed for any of the H7N7 HPAI viruses. These results suggest that the mutations identified in H5N1 HPAI viruses may provide a replication or infection advantage in pigs in vivo and that pigs may continue to play an important role in the ecology of influenza A viruses including those of avian origin.
    Virus Research 09/2013; · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular characterization studies of a diverse collection of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) have demonstrated that AIVs' greatest genetic variability lies in the HA, NA, and NS genes. The objective here was to quantify the association between geographical locations, periods of time, and host species and pairwise nucleotide variation in the HA, NA, and NS genes of 70 isolates of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) collected from October 2005 to December 2007 from birds in Romania. A mixed-binomial Bayesian regression model was used to quantify the probability of nucleotide variation between isolates and its association with space, time, and host species. As expected for the three target genes, a higher probability of nucleotide differences (odds ratios [ORs] > 1) was found between viruses sampled from places at greater geographical distances from each other, viruses sampled over greater periods of time, and viruses derived from different species. The modeling approach in the present study maybe useful in further understanding the molecular epidemiology of H5N1 HPAI virus in bird populations. The methodology presented here will be useful in predicting the most likely genetic distance for any of the three gene segments of viruses that have not yet been isolated or sequenced based on space, time, and host species during the course of an epidemic.
    Avian Diseases 09/2013; 57(3):612-21. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isolate wigeon/Italy/3920-1/2005 (3920-1) was obtained during surveillance of wild birds in November 2005 in the Rovigo province of Northern Italy and shown to be a paramyxovirus. Analysis of cross-haemagglutination-inhibition tests between 3920-1 and representative avian paramyxoviruses showed only a low-level relationship to APMV-1. Phylogenetic analysis of the whole genome and each of the six genes indicated that while 3920-1 grouped with APMV-1 and APMV-9 viruses, it was quite distinct from these two. In the whole-genome analysis, 3920-1 had 52.1 % nucleotide sequence identity to the closest APMV-1 virus, 50.1 % identity to the APMV-9 genome, and less than 42 % identity to representatives of the other avian paramyxovirus groups. We propose isolate wigeon/Italy/3920-1/2005 as the prototype strain of a further APMV group, APMV-12.
    Archives of Virology 05/2013; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: doi: 10.1637/10494-011713-Reg.1
    Avian Diseases 04/2013; 57(3):612-621. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pigs and humans have shared influenza A viruses (IAV) since at least 1918, and many interspecies transmission events have been documented since that time. However, despite this interplay, relatively little is known regarding IAV circulating in swine around the world compared with the avian and human knowledge base. This gap in knowledge impedes our understanding of how viruses adapted to swine or man impacts the ecology and evolution of IAV as a whole and the true impact of swine IAV on human health. The pandemic H1N1 that emerged in 2009 underscored the need for greater surveillance and sharing of data on IAV in swine. In this paper, we review the current state of IAV in swine around the world, highlight the collaboration between international organizations and a network of laboratories engaged in human and animal IAV surveillance and research, and emphasize the need to increase information in high-priority regions. The need for global integration and rapid sharing of data and resources to fight IAV in swine and other animal species is apparent, but this effort requires grassroots support from governments, practicing veterinarians and the swine industry and, ultimately, requires significant increases in funding and infrastructure.
    Zoonoses and Public Health 04/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In January 2012, influenza virus researchers from around the world announced a voluntary pause of 60 days on any research involving highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses leading to the generation of viruses that are more transmissible in mammals. Now that the aims of the voluntary moratorium have been met in some countries and are close to being met in others, we declare an end to the voluntary moratorium on avian flu transmission studies.
    Science 01/2013; · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Few questions on infectious disease are more important than understanding how and why avian influenza A viruses successfully emerge in mammalian populations, yet little is known about the rate and nature of the virus' genetic adaptation in new hosts. Here, we measure, for the first time, the genomic rate of adaptive evolution of swine influenza viruses (SwIV) that originated in birds. By using a curated dataset of more than 24 000 human and swine influenza gene sequences, including 41 newly characterized genomes, we reconstructed the adaptive dynamics of three major SwIV lineages (Eurasian, EA; classical swine, CS; triple reassortant, TR). We found that, following the transfer of the EA lineage from birds to swine in the late 1970s, EA virus genes have undergone substantially faster adaptive evolution than those of the CS lineage, which had circulated among swine for decades. Further, the adaptation rates of the EA lineage antigenic haemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes were unexpectedly high and similar to those observed in human influenza A. We show that the successful establishment of avian influenza viruses in swine is associated with raised adaptive evolution across the entire genome for many years after zoonosis, reflecting the contribution of multiple mutations to the coordinated optimization of viral fitness in a new environment. This dynamics is replicated independently in the polymerase genes of the TR lineage, which established in swine following separate transmission from non-swine hosts.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 01/2013; 368(1614):20120382. · 6.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To simulate a field situation in which pigs are in close contact with poultry and thus provide a potential mixing vessel for avian, swine and human influenza viruses, uninfected pigs were placed in contact with Pekin ducks or chickens infected with a H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus. To sustain prolonged exposure, newly inoculated birds were added at regular intervals. Although influenza virus was detected in birds and environmental samples, 14 days exposure to infected birds failed to produce evidence of infection in the pigs. The ability of pigs to generate reassortant viruses with these particular virus variants (H5N1 clade 2.2.1) may therefore be limited.
    Veterinary Microbiology 12/2012; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents a method for evaluation of surveillance for avian influenza (AI) in wild birds and compares surveillance activities before and after changes in surveillance strategy in Great Britain (GB). In October 2008 the AI Wild Bird Surveillance (AIWBS) system in GB was modified to focus on passive surveillance (birds found dead), including those found during warden patrols of wetlands and wildlife reserves, with less emphasis on public reporting of birds found dead. The number of birds sampled by active surveillance (birds live-trapped or shot) was also reduced. In the present study the impact of these changes was investigated by comparing the 12 mo prior to October 2008 with the subsequent 12 mo. Four factors were considered for each surveillance system component: 1) the number of wild birds tested; 2) whether the tested wild birds were considered "higher risk species" (HRS) for being infected with AI; 3) the location of the birds tested with respect to counties designated as a priority for surveillance; and 4) the probability that the birds tested might yield a positive AI virus result based on surveillance results in wild birds across Europe. The number of birds tested by both surveillance types was greatly reduced after the strategy change. The proportion of birds sampled in priority counties also significantly decreased in the second year for both active and passive surveillance. However, the proportion of HRS sampled by active surveillance significantly increased, while a significant decrease in these species was seen for passive surveillance in the second year. The derived probability scores for detecting AI based on European surveillance results indicated a reduction in sensitivity for H5N1 highly pathogenic AI detection by passive surveillance. The methods developed to evaluate AIWBS in GB may be applicable to other European Union countries. The results also reflect the complex issues associated with evaluation of disease surveillance in wildlife populations in which the disease ecology is only partially understood.
    Avian Diseases 12/2012; 56(4 Suppl):986-91. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first occurrence of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus [A(H1N1)pdm09] infection on two epidemiologically linked turkey breeder premises in the United Kingdom during December 2010 and January 2011. Clinically, the birds showed only mild signs of disease, with the major presenting sign being an acute and marked reduction in egg production, leading to the prompt reporting of suspected avian notifiable disease for official investigation. Presence of A(H1N1)pdm09 infection in the United Kingdom turkey breeder flocks was confirmed by detailed laboratory investigations including virus isolation in embryonated specific pathogen-free fowls' eggs, two validated real-time reverse transcription-PCR tests, and nucleotide sequencing of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes. These investigations revealed high nucleotide identity with currently circulating human A(H1N1)pdm09 strains, suggesting that human-to-poultry transmission (reverse zoonosis) was the most likely route of infection. Peak levels of human influenza-like illness community transmission also coincided with the onset of clinical signs in both affected turkey breeder flocks. This case demonstrated the value of the existing passive surveillance framework and associated veterinary and laboratory infrastructure that enables the detection and management of both exotic and new and emerging disease hazards and risks. The case also presents further evidence of the susceptibility of turkeys to infection with influenza A viruses of nonavian origin.
    Avian Diseases 12/2012; 56(4 Suppl):1062-7. · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) of the H9 haemagglutinin subtype are endemic in many Asian and Middle-East countries, causing mortality and morbidity in poultry. Consequently there is a need for accurate and sensitive detection of Eurasian H9 subtype viruses. Two H9 RealTime reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) tests, developed by Monne et al. (2008) and Ben Shabat et al. (2010), were originally validated with a limited number of H9 specimens. In the present study, the two tests have been assessed using 66 diverse H9 isolates and 139 clinical specimens from six H9 poultry outbreaks in four geographically disparate Eurasian countries. The Monne et al. (2008) test was modified and successfully detected all H9 viruses from all three Eurasian H9 lineages. Bayesian analysis of the clinical specimens' results revealed this test to be more sensitive (97%) than the Ben Shabat et al. (2010) test (31%). The latter test detected most H9 isolates of the G1 lineage, but no isolates from other H9 lineages. Mismatches in the primer/probe binding sequences accounted for sensitivity differences between the two H9 RRT-PCRs. Genetic analysis of 34 sequenced H9 haemagglutinin genes showed the South Asian and Middle-East H9 isolates to belong to the H9 G1 lineage, and possessed residues that appear to preferably bind alpha 2,6-linked sialic acid receptors which indicate a potential for human infection. European H9s clustered phylogenetically in a broader geographical group that includes recent North American H9 wild bird isolates and contemporary Asian viruses in the Y439 H9 lineage.
    Veterinary Microbiology 11/2012; · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: One requisite of quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) is to normalise the data with an internal reference gene that is invariant regardless of treatment, such as virus infection. Several studies have found variability in the expression of commonly used housekeeping genes, such as beta-actin (ACTB) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), under different experimental settings. However, ACTB and GAPDH remain widely used in the studies of host gene response to virus infections, including influenza viruses. To date no detailed study has been described that compares the suitability of commonly used housekeeping genes in influenza virus infections. The present study evaluated several commonly used housekeeping genes [ACTB, GAPDH, 18S ribosomal RNA (18S rRNA), ATP synthase, H+ transporting, mitochondrial F1 complex, beta polypeptide (ATP5B) and ATP synthase, H+ transporting, mitochondrial Fo complex, subunit C1 (subunit 9) (ATP5G1)] to identify the most stably expressed gene in human, pig, chicken and duck cells infected with a range of influenza A virus subtypes. RESULTS: The relative expression stability of commonly used housekeeping genes were determined in primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), pig tracheal epithelial cells (PTECs), and chicken and duck primary lung-derived cells infected with five influenza A virus subtypes. Analysis of qRT-PCR data from virus and mock infected cells using NormFinder and BestKeeper software programmes found that 18S rRNA was the most stable gene in HBECs, PTECs and avian lung cells. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the presented data from cell culture models (HBECs, PTECs, chicken and duck lung cells) infected with a range of influenza viruses, we found that 18S rRNA is the most stable reference gene for normalising qRT-PCR data. Expression levels of the other housekeeping genes evaluated in this study (including ACTB and GPADH) were highly affected by influenza virus infection and hence are not reliable as reference genes for RNA normalisation.
    Virology Journal 10/2012; 9(1):230. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Swine have often been considered as a mixing vessel for different influenza strains. In order to assess their role in more detail, we undertook a retrospective sequencing study to detect and characterize the reassortants present in European swine and to estimate the rate of reassortment between H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 subtypes with Eurasian (avian-like) internal protein-coding segments. We analysed 69 newly obtained whole genome sequences of subtypes H1N1-H3N2 from swine influenza viruses sampled between 1982 and 2008, using Illumina and 454 platforms. Analyses of these genomes, together with previously published genomes, revealed a large monophyletic clade of Eurasian swine-lineage polymerase segments containing H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2 subtypes. We subsequently examined reassortments between the haemagglutinin and neuraminidase segments and estimated the reassortment rates between lineages using a recently developed evolutionary analysis method. High rates of reassortment between H1N2 and H1N1 Eurasian swine lineages were detected in European strains, with an average of one reassortment every 2-3 years. This rapid reassortment results from co-circulating lineages in swine, and in consequence we should expect further reassortments between currently circulating swine strains and the recent swine-origin H1N1v pandemic strain.
    Journal of General Virology 09/2012; 93(Pt Pt_11):2326-2336. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Newcastle disease (ND), caused by virulent strains of avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1), is considered throughout the world as one of the most important animal diseases. For over three decades now, there has been a continuing panzootic caused by a variant virulent APMV-1 strain, so-called pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1), primarily in racing pigeons, which has also spread to wild birds and poultry. PPMV-1 isolations have been made in Great Britain every year since 1983. In this study, we have completed a comparative phylogenetic analysis based on a 374 nucleotide section of the fusion protein gene of 63 isolates of PPMV-1 that were isolated over a 26-year period; 43 of these were sequenced for this study. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed that all were closely related and placed in the genetic sublineage 4b (VIb), subdivision 4biif.
    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 09/2012; · 2.10 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
423.21 Total Impact Points


  • 2003–2013
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Virology
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2012
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
      Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Zoology
      Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2011
    • University of Glasgow
      • School of Veterinary Medicine
      Glasgow, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
      • Veterinary Sciences Division
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 2009
    • Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
      • Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute
      Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  • 2008
    • International Center for Research on Women
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 1990–1994
    • Le ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
      Québec, Quebec, Canada