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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: STUDIES TO REDUCE TRANSMISSION OF H5N1 HPAI VIRUS, AND ASSESS INFECTIVITY AND TRANSMISSIBILITY OF H5N1 HPAI VIRUSES FOR PIGS

Location: Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit

2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Investigate modified simple slaughter methods to reduce aerosol generation during home slaughter process and determine the impact of such improvements on reducing virus transmission. 2. Improved methods of evaluating vaccine efficacy in poultry AI vaccines. 3. Determining infectivity, transmissibility, and pathogenicity of 5 isolates of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) for pigs.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Aerosol generation and virus levels will be measured in rooms conducting simulated home processing of asymptomatic H5N1 HPAI virus infected chickens. A simple, plastic-bag method for processing will be evaluated for reducing aerosol and virus generation and reducing transmission to chicken and ferret models. Develop attenuated H5 AI viruses that will be used to produce reference antibodies from chickens for testing cross neutralization of H5 HPAI viruses in a chicken egg neutralizing test as a means to assess vaccines seed strain efficacy against drift variant field viruses. Five H5N1 HPAI viruses will be intrabronchally inoculated into pigs and examined for contact transmission. Pigs will be examined for infection by serology, virus isolation, and RRT-PCR assays.


3.Progress Report

The project is related to objective 4 of the in-house project: Use molecular epidemiologic techniques and viral genomics to understand virus transmission and spread of avian influenza outbreaks in poultry and wild birds.

Some strains of animal influenza virus have been zoonotic agents necessitating joint research between veterinary medicine and human health to solve the problems including the H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus. During 2009, simple methods were investigated that would reduce human exposure to H5N1 viruses in infected poultry during home slaughter process. A new assay was developed and validated for virus neutralization in embryonating chicken eggs to assess the amino acid changes found between the H5s of a vaccine seed and its drift variant viruses in their influences on the antigenicity of this protein. Hemagglutinin-specific antisera were used to neutralize reverse genetics-produced viruses that were identical except for their HA genes. Some differences were seen in the virus neutralization titers between the wild type and mutant viruses. Further studies are underway to gain further information.

Monitoring: The Principal Investigator had regular email and telephone conversations with the cooperator on research progress.


Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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