[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SUMMARY The domestic poultry population in Vietnam has been vaccinated against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 since 2005. Since then, outbreaks have continued to occur without a clear understanding of the mechanisms involved. The general objective of this study was to understand the epidemiology of the disease in the context of vaccination and to draw some conclusions about vaccination efficacy in the domestic poultry population of the Red River Delta area. Five cross-sectional surveys to measure the serological and virological prevalence in vaccinated and unvaccinated poultry were performed from the end of 2008 to June 2010. The global seroprevalence was 24% (95% confidence interval 19·9-28·2). Determinants of vaccine immunogenicity were identified separately in chickens and ducks as well as determinants of the seroconversion in unvaccinated birds. The results highlight the difficulties in maintaining good flock immunity in poultry populations using inactivated vaccine in the field with two vaccination rounds per year, and in preventing circulation of virus in co-existing unvaccinated poultry.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Epidemiology and Infection
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Vietnam, serological post H5N1 vaccination surveillance using the HI test is applied to assess the efficiency of the vaccination in addition to virological monitoring. In this paper we report on the evaluations of the performances of the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test and of a H5-ELISA, using chicken and duck field samples. The evaluations were conducted by comparison with a pseudotyped-based virus neutralization test (H5pp VNT) performed in a reference laboratory and considered as a "gold standard" and also by using methods developed for imperfect reference test. Their global accuracy and best cut-offs were also estimated. Results from the HI test for several haemagglutinin subtypes and from a commercial type A influenza competition ELISA were also compared. The results showed that performance of the HI test was very good in comparison with the H5pp VNT. Data also clearly supported the cut-off of ≥ 4 log(2) used for the HI test for chickens but, a 3 log(2) positivity cut-off would be more appropriate for ducks. When compared with the VNT, the H5-ELISA showed poor specificity when using the positivity cut-off specified by the manufacturer but could be used as a screening test if confirmed by the HI test or the H5ppVNT which presents some interests for large scale testing (no need for biosafety level 3 conditions and high performance). A general and highly sensitive pre-screening can also be achieved using the detection of NP-specific antibodies with a competition ELISA. This appears of little interest in a context of high subtypes diversity where only a subtype is targeted for surveillance and control.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Veterinary Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The highly pathogenic (HP) influenza viruses H5 and H7 are usually nonpathogenic in mallard ducks. However, the currently circulating HP H5N1 viruses acquired a different phenotype and are able to cause mortality in mallards. To establish the molecular basis of this phenotype, we cloned the human A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) influenza virus isolate that is highly pathogenic in ferrets, mice, and mallards and found it to be a heterogeneous mixture. Large-plaque isolates were highly pathogenic to ducks, mice, and ferrets, whereas small-plaque isolates were nonpathogenic in these species. Sequence analysis of the entire genome revealed that the small-plaque and the large-plaque isolates differed in the coding of five amino acids. There were two differences in the hemagglutinin (HA) gene (K52T and A544V), one in the PA gene (T515A), and two in the PB1 gene (K207R and Y436H). We inserted the amino acid changes into the wild-type reverse genetic virus construct to assess their effects on pathogenicity in vivo. The HA gene mutations and the PB1 gene K207R mutation did not alter the HP phenotype of the large-plaque virus, whereas constructs with the PA (T515A) and PB1 (Y436H) gene mutations were nonpathogenic in orally inoculated ducks. The PB1 (Y436H) construct was not efficiently transmitted in ducks, whereas the PA (T515A) construct replicated as well as the wild-type virus did and was transmitted efficiently. These results show that the PA and PB1 genes of HP H5N1 influenza viruses are associated with lethality in ducks. The mechanisms of lethality and the perpetuation of this lethal phenotype in ducks in nature remain to be determined.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid and simple methods for diagnosing human influenza A (H5N1) disease urgently needed. The limited data so far suggest that the currently available rapid antigen detection kits have poor clinical sensitivity for diagnosis of human H5N1 disease.
To compare the analytical sensitivity of six commercially available rapid antigen detection kits for the detection of "human" (subtypes H1N1, H3N2) and "avian" (subtype H5N1) influenza A viruses.
Six commercially available test kits for the detection of influenza A were investigated. Analytic sensitivity for the detection of two contemporary H1N1, two H3N2 and three H5N1 viruses was determined using virus culture as a reference method.
Each test kit detected the H5N1 virus subtypes as efficiently as they detected conventional human viruses of subtypes H1N1 or H3N2. However, limits of detection of influenza viruses of all subtypes by antigen detection kits were >1000-fold lower than virus isolation. Thus, the reportedly poor clinical sensitivity of these antigen detection kits for diagnosis of patients with H5N1 disease is not due to a difference of sensitivity for detecting avian influenza H5N1 compared to human influenza viruses.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Journal of Clinical Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 is endemic in poultry in East and Southeast Asia with disease outbreaks recently spreading to parts of central Asia, Europe and Africa. Continued interspecies transmission to humans has been reported in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and China, causing pandemic concern. Here, we genetically characterize 82 H5N1 viruses isolated from poultry throughout Indonesia and Vietnam and 11 human isolates from southern Vietnam together with sequence data available in public databases to address questions relevant to virus introduction, endemicity and evolution. Phylogenetic analysis shows that all viruses from Indonesia form a distinct sublineage of H5N1 genotype Z viruses suggesting this outbreak likely originated from a single introduction that spread throughout the country during the past two years. Continued virus activities in Indonesia were attributed to transmission via poultry movement within the country rather than through repeated introductions by bird migration. Within Indonesia and Vietnam, H5N1 viruses have evolved over time into geographically distinct groups within each country. Molecular analysis of the H5N1 genotype Z genome shows that only the M2 and PB1-F2 genes were under positive selection, suggesting that these genes might be involved in adaptation of this virus to new hosts following interspecies transmission. At the amino acid level 12 residues were under positive selection in those genotype Z viruses, in the HA and PB1-F2 proteins. Some of these residues were more frequently observed in human isolates than in avian isolates and are related to viral antigenicity and receptor binding. Our study provides insight into the ongoing evolution of H5N1 influenza viruses that are transmitting in diverse avian species and at the interface between avian and human hosts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preparedness for a possible influenza pandemic caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza A subtype H5N1 has become a global priority. The spread of the virus to Europe and continued human infection in Southeast Asia have heightened pandemic concern. It remains unknown from where the pandemic strain may emerge; current attention is directed at Vietnam, Thailand, and, more recently, Indonesia and China. Here, we report that genetically and antigenically distinct sublineages of H5N1 virus have become established in poultry in different geographical regions of Southeast Asia, indicating the long-term endemicity of the virus, and the isolation of H5N1 virus from apparently healthy migratory birds in southern China. Our data show that H5N1 influenza virus, has continued to spread from its established source in southern China to other regions through transport of poultry and bird migration. The identification of regionally distinct sublineages contributes to the understanding of the mechanism for the perpetuation and spread of H5N1, providing information that is directly relevant to control of the source of infection in poultry. It points to the necessity of surveillance that is geographically broader than previously supposed and that includes H5N1 viruses of greater genetic and antigenic diversity.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wild waterfowl are the natural reservoir of all influenza A viruses, and these viruses are usually nonpathogenic in these birds. However, since late 2002, H5N1 outbreaks in Asia have resulted in mortality among waterfowl in recreational parks, domestic flocks, and wild migratory birds. The evolutionary stasis between influenza virus and its natural host may have been disrupted, prompting us to ask whether waterfowl are resistant to H5N1 influenza virus disease and whether they can still act as a reservoir for these viruses. To better understand the biology of H5N1 viruses in ducks and attempt to answer this question, we inoculated juvenile mallards with 23 different H5N1 influenza viruses isolated in Asia between 2003 and 2004. All virus isolates replicated efficiently in inoculated ducks, and 22 were transmitted to susceptible contacts. Viruses replicated to higher levels in the trachea than in the cloaca of both inoculated and contact birds, suggesting that the digestive tract is not the main site of H5N1 influenza virus replication in ducks and that the fecal-oral route may no longer be the main transmission path. The virus isolates' pathogenicities varied from completely nonpathogenic to highly lethal and were positively correlated with tracheal virus titers. Nevertheless, the eight virus isolates that were nonpathogenic in ducks replicated and transmitted efficiently to naïve contacts, suggesting that highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses causing minimal signs of disease in ducks can propagate silently and efficiently among domestic and wild ducks in Asia and that they represent a serious threat to human and veterinary public health.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2005 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wild waterfowl, including ducks, are natural hosts of influenza A viruses. These viruses rarely caused disease in ducks until 2002, when some H5N1 strains became highly pathogenic. Here we show that these H5N1 viruses are reverting to nonpathogenicity in ducks. Ducks experimentally infected with viruses isolated between 2003 and 2004 shed virus for an extended time (up to 17 days), during which variant viruses with low pathogenicity were selected. These results suggest that the duck has become the "Trojan horse" of Asian H5N1 influenza viruses. The ducks that are unaffected by infection with these viruses continue to circulate these viruses, presenting a pandemic threat.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2005 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, H5N1, caused disease outbreaks in poultry in China and seven other east Asian countries between late 2003 and early 2004; the same virus was fatal to humans in Thailand and Vietnam. Here we demonstrate a series of genetic reassortment events traceable to the precursor of the H5N1 viruses that caused the initial human outbreak in Hong Kong in 1997 (refs 2-4) and subsequent avian outbreaks in 2001 and 2002 (refs 5, 6). These events gave rise to a dominant H5N1 genotype (Z) in chickens and ducks that was responsible for the regional outbreak in 2003-04. Our findings indicate that domestic ducks in southern China had a central role in the generation and maintenance of this virus, and that wild birds may have contributed to the increasingly wide spread of the virus in Asia. Our results suggest that H5N1 viruses with pandemic potential have become endemic in the region and are not easily eradicable. These developments pose a threat to public and veterinary health in the region and potentially the world, and suggest that long-term control measures are required.