Submitted to: International Symposium on Avian Influenza
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2002
Publication Date: 4/17/2002
Citation: Tumpey, T., Suarez, D.L., Perkins, L.E., Senne, D.A., Lee, J., Lee, Y., Mo, I., Sung, H., Swayne, D.E. 2002. Characterization of a highly pathogenic h5n1 avian influenza a virus isolated from duck meat. International Symposium on Avian Influenza.
Technical Abstract: Since the 1997 influenza H5N1 virus outbreak in humans and poultry in Hong Kong, the emergence of closely related viruses in poultry has raised concerns that additional zoonotic transmissions of influenza viruses from poultry to humans may occur. In April 2001, an avian H5N1 influenza A virus was isolated from duck meat that had been imported from China to Korea. Phylogenetic analysis of the heamagglutinin (HA) gene of A/Duck/Anyang/AVL-1/01 showed that the H5N1 virus clustered with the H5 Goose/Guandong/1/96 lineage and the 1997 Hong Kong human isolates. This virus also possesses identical HA cleavage sites and was highly pathogenic in chickens following intravenous or intranasal inoculation. The pathogenesis of A/Duck/Anyang/AVL-1/01 was further characterized in BALB/c mice and compared with other H5N1 avian influenza viruses, A/Chicken/Hong Kong/317.5/01 and A/Chicken/Hong Kong/220/97. All viruses replicated in mice, but in contrast to the highly lethal A/Chicken/Hong Kong/220/97 virus, A/Duck/Anyang/AVL-1/01 and A/Chicken/Hong Kong/317.5/01 viruses remained localized to the respiratory tract. Infection with A/Duck/Anyang/AVL-1/01 resulted in 22% mortality, whereas A/Chicken/Hong Kong/317.5/01-infected mice exhibited no mortality. The pathogenicity of the H5N1 viruses were also investigated in Pekin ducks. Although no physical signs of disease were observed in H5-inoculated ducks, infectious virus could be detected in lung tissue, cloacal and oropharyngeal swabs. The A/Duck/Anyang/AVL-1/01 virus was unique in that infectious virus and viral antigen could also be detected in muscle and brain tissue of ducks at two and four days post-infection. The isolation of an H5N1 influenza virus from duck meat and the presence of infectious virus in muscle tissue of experimentally infected ducks raises concern that meat produced by this species may serve as a vehicle for the transmission of H5N1 virus to humans.